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Cover image of Amazon FBA Seller Round Table - Selling On Amazon - Amazon Seller Podcast - Learn To Sell On Amazon - E-commerce Tips - Shopify & Woocommerce - Inventions And Start Ups - Marketing School For Amazon Sellers

Amazon FBA Seller Round Table - Selling On Amazon - Amazon Seller Podcast - Learn To Sell On Amazon - E-commerce Tips - Shopify & Woocommerce - Inventions And Start Ups - Marketing School For Amazon Sellers

Amazon FBA Tips, Tricks, And Tactics. Seller Round Table will help you get to the next level of your Amazon or e-commerce business. We cover a huge variety of topics like Amazon PPC, marketing, listing optimization, SEO, ranking products, tracking keyword ranking, offsite traffic, sourcing, step by step Amazon coaching and more. If you're just starting out with Amazon private label, or an Amazon master, you will get extreme value from Seller Round Table. Join us live at https://sellerroundtable.com/live every Tuesday at 1PM PST. Andy is a million dollar FBA seller and Amazon tool provider and Amy is an e-commerce veteran and inventor.

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Inventor of Sidewalk Chalk moves into eCommerce - An inspirational story like no other - Amazon Seller Tips with Marcia Reece - Part 1

Things we discussed in this session:A. Part 1B. Part 2Things we mention in this session of Seller Round Table:Join us every Tuesday at 1:00 PM PST for Live Q&A and Bonus Content at  https://sellerroundtable.comTry the greatest Amazon seller tools on the planet free for 30 days at https://sellerseo.com/Transcription in this episode:[00:00:01] spk_0: Welcome [00:00:02] spk_2: to the seller roundtable, E commerce coaching and business strategies with and er not and [00:00:07] spk_1: amy Wiis. Hey everyone what's up. This is Amy, we's Andy is out today but we're still going to have an amazing episode and let's see what's the episode number, episode number 126 of the amazon FB a seller roundtable And today I have the amazing, just this woman is amazing, She's amazing. She's a legend. When I first met her, me and my assistant ended up sitting on our chairs and it was like fireside chats with Marcia and we were just listening to everything that she had to say because she was such an amazing story. So I'm so excited for Marcia to share her story with you today. Let it inspire you. Let it overcome your help you overcome your barriers because if one thing that Marcia does not do, she doesn't quit so far. No, no, it's not time yet, Marcia, welcome to the selling roundtable. It's so [00:01:11] spk_0: great to have you. Thank you so much Amy, it's so good to be here with you and your audience and and like you said, it's been quite right and I guess I'm old enough to have experienced the highs and the lows and survived in both. [00:01:26] spk_1: Yes, definitely. So speaking of being old enough to survive the highs and the lows on this show, we always ask you to tell us a little bit about your background and I know with you it's could be the entire show because you have such an amazing story, but tell us a little bit about your journey to e commerce and your background as much or as little as you want to tell us. And while you're doing that, I'm gonna mute and share it around to the live channels [00:01:58] spk_0: already. Well my journey started about 40 years ago. I had two Children and my daughter liked to play with creative art activities. And so one of the things that she liked to play with was chuck, but the chuck at the time was that skinny blackboard stuff like the size of your little finger that came from china. It was dusty, dirty broke, full of lead, it stained, it was a rotten mess. So in 1978 I decided there ought to be a better way to make chalk. And this was before computer. So I went to this place called the library and started researching how to make chalk. I spent the summer experimenting and I came up with this never has yet been duplicated, fabulous formula. It is hard dust lys clean chalk, you can wipe it up and down your clothes and it doesn't come off and yet it washes off with rain or water. So without knowing anything about retail wholesale. I decided I was going to start selling sidewalk chalk. Well, it actually happened in kind of a bizarre way and I won't take all of our time today, but we did end up selling chalk to craft fairs around colorado. And it wasn't long before stores started calling me wanting to know how to buy our product. That led me to a trip to the Denver merchandise mart where I found a wonderful lady who's now passed away and she taught me all about wholesale and case packs and you and all of it. So we started selling to a lot of gifts and toy stores in the Rocky Mountains. And then my son who was three, challenged me and said, mom wal mart says they only buy american products, you should sell them our chuck. Now at that time, Wal Mart had 66 doors, that's how long ago this was and I brought these props to show your audience because I want people to understand. I was just a mom in Niwa Colorado with two kids. I didn't have any sophisticated product background, which you're about to see, but I had a fabulous product, This is the product that walmart bought When Leslie 40 years ago and it was as primitive as can be. These chalks were squirted out of pastry tubes, they looked like coloured dog turds, but we got our shot to put this and another school, we had a box that held six sticks into nine of their stores for a test market with a guaranteed buy back that whatever didn't sell in 30 days, we had to buy back. So it was a gross of each product into nine stores. Well I'd never sold that much product to one store and I was afraid of the buyback. So I hatched this idea that I would call each of those nine store managers, I would ask them if they would host a sidewalk chalk contest in their parking lot. Now back then there weren't very many Walmarts, only 66 stores in the whole chain, their stores weren't big and busy. So they were thrilled to have something happening in their parking lot. I then went to these little towns in Colorado. I talked to the newspaper. They all agreed to come cover this story, walmart agreed to give a 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize to every kid that entered. And then I found some famous person like the school superintendent of the librarian or somebody to come judge the contest. Well, these contests became crazy fun. And back then the newspapers really only round ran color on the front and back of their newspaper. The inside was all black and white. So our story with the pictures of these kids on their, their art made the front cover of every one of these newspapers because it was in full color. So that was very successful. When those 30 days were the fourth day after the fourth contest, I got a call from my walmart buyer and he said, we have a problem. And I said, what's sad? And he said we are out of inventory in these stores. And I said, where do we need product and win During that 30 days we restock those nine stores nine times which was amazing for us. So after the 30 days were up, I called my buyer Steve and I said this was fabulous, can we get a few more stores? And he said Marcia, I think you better come down to Bentonville and see me. So I made my first trip to Bentonville Arkansas and it was nothing fancy, let me tell you. And he met with me and he had a sprocket the whole sprockets agreement white spreadsheet on his desk and he was looking through it and he said, I don't understand this, you are the top selling item in the toy department and your packaging and presentation suck. And I said well what do you think we should do? So we went out to their plan a grand room and he showed me blister card packaging and so I said great, we will convert to blister packaging. So based on that I invested in a six station automatic blister machine and then we ship this product into 14 of these stores. We did 14 chuck contest 14 rinse and repeat again massively successful. But this is a flag [00:07:23] spk_1: you created at this time. So what what about what year was this? [00:07:27] spk_0: This was 1979 or 1980, [00:07:30] spk_1: 1979 or 1980 and you actually did you do this packaging yourself, you said you invested in a blister packaging machine, sheen [00:07:39] spk_0: To put the blister on the card. I had an artist in boulder colorado and this was my daughter over here is my daughter Suzanne, my son Ross. They were on our packaging and it was just, it was still, it was pretty primitive, but it was way better than this. So we did the 14 stores with this and I did a flat blister because right at this time we were the first company to invent molded shape chalk. No one had ever made that before and I had come out with circus and dinosaur and some zoo characters and I didn't know what would sell best. So we was just mix them up in here and my buyer was tracking on his end what was selling best. So after the 14th store test that month, he said, okay, come back down, we need to talk again. So we went from, this is so fun. We went from this To this to this molded sticks with our name on it. It says our kids sidewalk chalk on each piece. They were in their own blisters so they didn't slide around and then they gave us chain wide, they gave us all 66 stores that led, to uh, and each time we would get this media coverage on these news [00:08:58] spk_1: Marsha, can I ask you just because I'm fascinated with the product development packaging as you know, like I teach every step in the process and I just think it's so fascinating because nowadays we can easily get someone else to make that packaging and it's so easy nowadays that we don't necessarily know what goes into it, right? Like what, how a package is made. So you went from kind of like in the beginning when you had what you call the color dog turds, right? Um were you just like using the material and laying it out on a paper, something like what was production like for that? And then when you molded it, did you guys create the molds yourself and pour that material into the molds? [00:09:44] spk_0: We did. I actually found a candy company in Oklahoma that I don't know if they're still in business that made chocolate candy molds. Like if you wanted to make chocolates for a wedding party or and so I called that company and asked them if they would make molds for me and their molds. As I remember our first molds held like 20 pieces of chalk and you would pour the slurry in and then you would scrape them off and let them dry. Oh this was so primitive amy but we were making a lot of chalk by then. So then those molds were not strong enough or big enough and the big turning event happened. I would send all of this media, my newspaper articles and magazines, we were in Fortune magazine and entrepreneur and Abc NBC and Cbs. Denver, our local stations covered our little story. Then I got a call from the executive producer of Abc World News tonight with Peter Jennings and he wanted to come cover our story that's when everything blew up. And um they did come, we made the hold and I asked her, I said nobody like Peter Jennings has ever come to in Iowa colorado, would he come to my Children's elementary school and give a little talk about his work at Abc news and she said he would. So I hired the argument. I asked the art department to come to a whole mural about abc news and Peter Jennings where they parked the school buses so they moved all the school buses. All these high school art students came and did this beautiful mural and I made A. B. C. Logo cookie cutter out of copper because it was soft and malleable and I could make a cookie cutter and I made 700 cookies to give away to everybody at the high school and elementary school. So we killed myself to make this day about Peter Jennings. Then when they did our story, he was already in love with our little kids and the fun. So we had, when this story actually aired, we had two minutes and 20 seconds on World News tonight which used to be a 30 minute show with commercials out, 20 minutes of news time. So we were 1/10 of their show and no one you know this back so long ago I didn't know one once it aired. If you didn't see it, you missed it. But I happened to hear barry Serafin saying coming up next, a couple of kids chalking up their future in colorado. So I ran into the house and put a VHS tape in my so I do have a copy of this segment and then the next morning I went into my office and I was so depressed because my parents didn't see it. My sister didn't see people, I wanted to know that we were doing something. All missed it. But I got a call from a man and I recognized his name and when I picked up the phone and said good morning, how can I help you? Can I say a bad word on your show. [00:12:49] spk_1: Absolutely his work [00:12:52] spk_0: to me exactly were why the fuck is walmart getting all this publicity. And I said sir, they're buying our product in all their stores and I can't get your buyers to return my call. He was the head of Kmart who had 4200 stores. So he then asked us over the phone to drop ship two cases 48 pieces each to each of his 4200 stores. We were not a vendor of record. We had to hand type 4200 invoices. There were no computers yet. It was total brain damage. And he said, can you do it in five weeks missy. And I said yes sir, we can. I had no clue when I hung up the phone how we were going to but we did. I'm sure we lost money on the order because we hired every temp we could get to help us make all this. [00:13:43] spk_1: I'm sure as well that You that was the importance so that was an investment because at that time you know and I've heard you tell this story before which you know that was that was for me. So now everybody else gets to hear it. But you know you the way you said it was at that time Walmart was tiny. You had just like 40 some stores or 60 stores, 66 stores and you said Wal Mart was a pimple on Kmarts but which is not the situation anymore because you know now Kmart is so much is gone right. But yeah so you know and I think the other interesting thing so you show the importance of believing you can even when you don't know how like boldly walking through any door that is open for you that was [00:14:38] spk_0: scary. Amy we could have totally imploded but I was young and I was I would work around, I would work 70 80 hours sleep for two and go again. I was not going to fail because I had my own money invested in this, I had my own my pride, this was like my third child, this little company. Well then after wal mart happened and we shipped it successfully. Then we got uh target nationwide and we got twice arrested nationwide. And then this is the last show and tell [00:15:08] spk_1: you said you went after Kmart after Kmart and then you got in Target two is rushed nationwide. So by that time you went from doing a few like you went from doing these major invoices for all these stores everything and overnight you scaled so that one decision, like I just wanted to spend a moment on this because this one decision where you took a chance and made it happen, like you said you lost money on that deal, you could have said no, but that one decision catapulted you through major retail and turned you into a just an incredible company and brand and you know, and that's what led to what you're holding up now which is this incredible three [00:15:56] spk_0: million Mcdonald's three packs. Now, this one did just about kill us because that's a lot of chalk, if anybody can imagine one million or something, this was overwhelming. And then this led to we did six other national food kids meals. So one thing led to another at this point we had to production facilities in the U. S. Going around the clock. And and this all happened over about a 12-month period. It didn't happen completely overnight, but we didn't have to test with Target and toys r. Us. They already had seen our product at Kmart. Um, then we ended up ended up opening three factories in Asia, which I was one of the first Western women to go open a plant in china. And that was quite an experience back then. Um, and now that I have stay well copper, I'm absolutely honored and thrilled to say we are completely made in the USa and that was what got us into walmart 40 years ago, was made in the USa product and here we are now, back made in the USa. So in many ways a me it's gone full circle, but as naive as I was back then, that's how naive I have been on learning e commerce. It's been a very hard journey for this old dinosaur to learn e commerce. [00:17:24] spk_1: Yeah, I mean it's not a quitter. Well, and I wouldn't say that it's any less difficult for anyone getting into e commerce because the competition is fierce. People don't play by any rules. Right? And so I would love to ask you a question. You said, we didn't have to test, you know, I know so many of our e commerce folks can learn from your experience in retail and we all want to know, you know, and you have years of experience in retail. So you said I didn't have to test in Target or toys r us because they had already seen our products, they had seen that, What does that mean to test? So you said at first you shit like a case of each one to kmart um what does it mean when you have to test in retail and can we still expect that? [00:18:15] spk_0: Probably and what that means is they're going to put you in a smaller number of select stores, they're going to monitor the velocity of your sales and if you sell to their standards and to the buyers standards, then they will give you chain like distribution. They don't still give that out without knowing that your product is going to sell. And it is, I still call it a test and and it's usually 30-45 days. It may be 60 days and then they'll check your sales and see how you've done. Um, to move forward. We are just now finishing retail packaging to go into brick and mortar retail here in the States. And again, I want to do testing because I want to make sure that our product will sell before we ship chain wide because most of these big accounts now will make you guarantee a buyback if your product doesn't sell and I do not want to get involved in buybacks. So hopefully they will give, hopefully now I want to test, I want to know that it will sell before we ship chain wide. [00:19:22] spk_1: Yes, that makes sense. So you're making sure that you're testing before. And I think that's what most people can expect to get overwhelmed thinking about retail because on amazon you do get to test, you do get to launch your product and kind of test and see how things go right. But in retail you also test, you test in smaller amounts of stores before you're going nationwide. But the other thing is when you finally do go nationwide, amazon is one store, you know, and walmart as you mentioned, you know, how many stores they have now, I forgot how many, 8100 stores or something. CBS has 9400 stores I think. Um, so, and now even the top 50 retailers also have e commerce platforms and the two are not the same. The brick and mortar is not connected to the e commerce side. So you know, we all have so much to learn whether we're in e commerce and figuring it out or we are trying to expand into brick and mortar channels. Um, there's so much to learn and, and we can learn from each other. So so I know you're, let's go take you from, you sold your company, right? You soldier your chalk company. And what year was that that you sold it [00:20:44] spk_0: In? That was February 9, 1990s. You know, the days your Children were born, I'll never forget that day either February 9, 1990 my life changed forever. I had first been made an offer to by my company from the extra sketch company Ohio art and I had gone through nine months of due diligence with them and we did not come to a deal, but I'm very, very proud to say we ended up best friends and usually when you've invested that much time and money putting a deal together and they fall apart. Usually people don't like each other, but the chairman and I have become best friends. His sister is my best friend. We talk every day on the phone. She's a dear dear lady, I love all of his family. They become like my, they are my family. I go is [00:21:34] spk_1: the company still in business today? Are you still still getting? [00:21:39] spk_0: But they sold about four years ago to a Canadian company. So the original people I dealt with are no longer there, but at your sketches, it's a classic toy brand as well. But I, so I was pretty depressed when that sale fell apart because I was in over my head with Cash flow. We were shipping so much product and all these national retailers, one, I always used to call it 2% net never, they would pay like in 90 days or 120 days, but they were ordering product every 30 days because our product was consumable. So it was a cash flow nightmare. So I needed to sell the company. We were growing so fast. I knew I was going to bankrupt it if I didn't sell it and we were in every, we were in mass specialty education, gift toy fast food. We really had a complete grid of us retail. And so when that deal fell apart coincidentally I got a call about three weeks later from my Dallas rep Gary McCoy and Gary used to always call and say hey sunshine how you doing today? And I said I'm great Gary, what's up? And he goes have you ever thought about selling your company? And I said well why would you ask? He didn't know I had been through nine months of this because you never let your sales people know when you're really up against the wall. And he said there's a company that's very interested in your distribution. They didn't care at all about my product but they wanted my distribution because we were vendors of record at all these [00:23:13] spk_1: major then they have to start on the shelf valuable. [00:23:18] spk_0: Very valuable and it still is today. And so he said I want you to call I said Gary stop if they're interested you have them call me I don't have time to Chase a rainbow. And so 45 minutes later Amy I got a phone call from the chairman of the world's largest toy company. Now I'm just a little farm kid from southeast Iowa this is big stuff to me. So he started telling me about their company. They had a product that had done really well in Japan. They didn't have any U. S. Distribution and they wanted to buy my company and put this product into my distribution. That product was a little product called power rangers. [00:24:05] spk_1: Mm [00:24:06] spk_0: And that's what happened. I had the company sold within 33 or four weeks. I got everything I wanted because he wanted that distribution and we put a six person launch team together and took that to a billion dollars in 14 months. In 1990. A billion dollars was a lot of power rangers. It had never been done in the toy industry before. It took barbie 30 years to hit a billion dollars for one year. So it was a big big deal [00:24:35] spk_1: your company and your distribution and what you built out of nothing out of your kitchen basically our [00:24:43] spk_0: dog turds [00:24:44] spk_1: catapulted another company. I mean we think about even with the power rangers brand is today you were a part, you were a pioneer to [00:24:57] spk_0: not [00:24:58] spk_1: to mention you know back when you started when you move your factories to china back then there was nothing in china. It took companies like yours to go to china and build them out. It's like what Mexico and some of the other countries that were trying to source from now it's what they need. They need companies to come in and grow with these manufacturers and you did that as a woman in a country where at that time china has gotten a little bit better but I have a china trip. I go to china often and I see the still to this day it [00:25:36] spk_0: was so primitive back then it was truly one of my factories was in Guangzhou. My first was in Shenzen, then Guangzhou and my last was in chaman. And when I stayed in my Guangzhou hotel, I never let my bare feet touch the floor. I always had slippers on. It was the showers had they weren't even what we would call a shower. It was horribly pitiful, but it got what I needed done. And uh, we have come a long way and as I say, I am very, very honored and thrilled to be part of the USa manufacturing. Uh, [00:26:15] spk_1: I agree. I I feel to say I have one product made in the U. S. And I'm very proud of that and I'm happy to have conquered that because it's not easy. It really isn't easy to get a product made in the USa. So all right, So we went from, you started this company out of nothing with your kids. Getting people involved saying yes to open doors. Even when you didn't know how you were going to do things and you ran into a cash flow problem, which is so many people in e commerce, we have the same problem. Everybody who has inventory has this problem right? And you get to the point where you're too big or you're too small to grow as big as you need to grow. And so you got in a position where you needed to sell and back then selling a business was not the same as selling a business today. So you went through that whole thing and you know, it's a whole different ballgame. So I have to tell you [00:27:14] spk_0: my wonderful sales story at Ohio work. Thanks for tuning in to part One of this episode, [00:27:20] spk_2: join us every Tuesday at one PM pacific standard time for live Q and A. And bonus content after the recording at [00:27:26] spk_0: cellar round table dot com, [00:27:28] spk_2: sponsored by the ultimate software tool for amazon sales and growth seller S C o dot com and [00:27:34] spk_1: amazing at home dot com.

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Inventor of Sidewalk Chalk moves into eCommerce - An inspirational story like no other - Amazon Seller Tips with Marcia Reece - Part 2

Things we discussed in this session:A. Part 1B. Part 2Things we mention in this session of Seller Round Table:Join us every Tuesday at 1:00 PM PST for Live Q&A and Bonus Content at  https://sellerroundtable.comTry the greatest Amazon seller tools on the planet free for 30 days at https://sellerseo.com/Transcription in this episode:[00:00:01] spk_2: welcome to the seller roundtable e commerce coaching and business strategies with and er not and amy [00:00:07] spk_1: Wiis. Bill Kilgallon was the chairman and as I say he is a dear dear friend of mine now but I didn't know him at all then. I knew his father had started the company and they were a very well to do established family in bryan Ohio I had done my research about their stock and what bill was paid as chairman of the board and on and on. So when I sat in his conference room, his private conference room with elephant tusks around the fireplace in a Persian rug on the floor. My factory, my office at my factory was a loading dock. I didn't need, I mean it was so different but we had made trips back and forth to each other's factories a few times in those nine months. So I'm in his office. The last thing is conference room the last day and as a woman in business amy you'll get this now. He said to me now marshal, what we're gonna do is we're going to merge our company's first. You said you're going to have to move to bryan Ohio because we're gonna need you to brand manage this product line. And I said, well Bill, um I would consider that and he said and we'll pay you, this is 1989 will pay you $42,000 a year. And I said bill in all due respect and he was making 580,000 a year and stock options and I said bill um in all due respect, I pay my plant manager more than that. And he said about Marcia, you'd be the highest paid woman in bryan Ohio and you've got an employed husband strike one. But I kept my mouth shut and I kept my woman temper down then he said, um, so what we're gonna do is, um, well let me step back before I went, met with Bill Check doll was their senior VP of sales and marketing took me around the executive suite and introduced me and I noticed there was not a single woman in a, in an office other than behind a typewriter. There were no female executives in the company. And I made a little note of that and he introduced me to their chief financial officer and he looked up and down and up and over to chat and said, she can't look like that and have a brain to [00:02:20] spk_0: right in front of you like you didn't even exist. Women have come so far and again, you're part of pioneering that, you know, some [00:02:29] spk_1: of these young young girls who are making a mark in business. Now I do take a little tiny bit of credit for helping open the door because they can't imagine what this was like then. So now we're back in Bill's conference room and he says, uh, what I'm going to suggest we do is merge our companies. Now this is october and then we'll go to Toy Fair, which is the big industry event in new york, every february will go to Toy Fair will announce the merger and then we'll sit back down in june and determine what the company is worth. And I said, Bill, it sounds to me like you want are companies to sleep together before they're married and I'm kind of old fashioned and traditional. So I'm not interested in that proposition. I don't mean anything sexual [00:03:16] spk_0: Marcia like you didn't, you didn't get that. You were trying to make an apology. No, apparently, you know, you can have mahogany that I don't need brains [00:03:30] spk_1: audited financials. They had nine months to due diligence. They knew everything was on the table. There were no hidden secrets. So he just didn't want to pay. I tease him that he was born with a birth defect, his arm isn't long enough to reach his wallet. And so that's been our longstanding joke. But, [00:03:51] spk_0: and the thing was from that you actually, you didn't end up selling to them and you and you already told us about the deal that you got, which was really incredible. And you know, so that's the other lesson here, out of your story is that yes, it's important to say yes sometimes, but it's also important to know what's important to you and know when to say no. So ultimately, you know, what made you decide what was the deciding factor? Because this was an opportunity still, you knew that, you know, sorry [00:04:26] spk_1: with Ohio art. What was that? [00:04:28] spk_0: What was the, what was the thing that made you decide to say no. [00:04:33] spk_1: Well it was $42,000. I was running a company with five. I mean this was an insult. [00:04:40] spk_0: You were insulted. I [00:04:41] spk_1: was insulted. I was working my tail off and Bill's father created his company. Bill was the oldest son. He never loaded a semi. He never did any of the work I had done and just no acknowledgement of what I had put in to build a company with this distribution. Um, so it was that and then moving to bryan, Ohio, when I lived in Boulder county colorado, I mean I really didn't want to move to, Ohio would have, I probably, but no, it was not high on my list. And then this whole nonsense of, let's go wait till next june to find out what I'm going to pay. You know, it just didn't make sense. [00:05:20] spk_0: Yeah. [00:05:22] spk_1: As much as I like to kill galan's and they are some of the finest people you'll ever want to deal with builds a shrewd business kinds of very wealthy man because he knows how to strike these kinds of deals, but it wasn't fitting what my needs were. And so I guess. And I remember we were shipping to Discovery toys at the time and we had a huge discovery toy order and I got off the airplane, took off my brand new, uh, oh, I bought this fancy designer sell my business suit to wear into the meeting, took it off, put on my sweats and my blue jeans and went back over and help that I wanted to make sure discovery toys shipped on time. And, And I just, and I cried on the airplane trip home. I was so sad because I needed, I needed to sound mental and physical. I probably weighed £65 less than I do now. I was killed. I was living on Diet Pepsi and no sleep and it's not healthy. But, [00:06:22] spk_0: but it was still important even though you were in that situation where you kind of were desperate. I mean to sell, you were very desperate to sell at that point, but you still knew your, you still knew your work. You really wanted to sell and you knew that you were seeking that relief, but you knew your worth And and so you know, it's important. It's such an important lesson learned. So let's fast forward. So here we are today and now marshes figuring out e commerce, which has been fun so far. She's been in amazon jail. She's done all the things right. We had her at the women's in power at the empowering women's conference in Vegas and she came out in a, in a prison jumpsuit and said, I'm wearing this jumpsuit because I'm in prison amazon prison and it was hilarious. We love have been [00:07:16] spk_1: unjustly [00:07:17] spk_0: charged. She has been unjustly charged. So she has been through the flag for pesticides issue. So it's so you know, but anyway, so we're going to fast forward now to what you're doing now, which is e commerce and you know, we learned so many lessons from your story and you know, I think you say I'm figuring I'm a dinosaur. I'm figuring out e commerce. Well guess what? You have more experience than all of us and you know, yes, you might not know all the bells and whistles for e commerce, but none of us do. Okay. They change every single day and we're all just hanging a flying by the seat of our pants going along the ride for the ride. So you know, let's talk about what had you starting stable Coppers, your new company, what had you starting that and deciding to enter in the e commerce. How did you decided to do this? It's [00:08:20] spk_1: exactly the same thing my whole life. I have tried to, I've been a product designer, I've done over 100 products. You're hearing some of the bigger ones. I had another product, the gel filled wrist rest that went in front of the keyboards that I created that and I licensed that worldwide to case logic. That was a whole different way to [00:08:42] spk_0: exchange your company case logic. Yes, yes. [00:08:45] spk_1: So I love creating easy, practical, affordable solutions for everyday problems like my daughter wanted something to play with. It didn't stay in her clothes. I wanted something that makes my wrists not hurt when I was typing because back then our computer keyboards were this high and you had to cock your wrist to type. So, Um in 2000 I became deathly ill with immersive staph infection in my lower spine. I had final rites twice. I was sick for six months. I had to learn to walk again. I had six surgeries when I got done with all that, I thought there's got to be a way to kill germs. Besides all these drugs, I was on um a drip, more a drip. Banco Miocene, which is the most potent antibiotic we have in the world. And it ruined my hair, my skin and my nails and all those cells reproduce frequently were destroyed. So when I got all regenerated, I thought there's got to be a way to kill germs that doesn't ruin our bodies. So I started doing research and came upon antimicrobial copper and I was blown away. I didn't know anything about the power of copper. But boy, I do now, it is the most amazing metal on the planet. We think gold is the most precious. If I could choose between a pound of copper and a pound of gold, I would take the copper because your health is your wealth and without your health, you have no wealth at all. Gold doesn't do anything. It's just a pretty metal. Copper kills 99.97% of germs on contact. I have my copper hope. Nicholson right now, by the way, you can get it on CVS dot com. As of yesterday, I roll this between my hands whenever I am exposed to a germy surface, I use it as a push button for elevators or the checkout at the grocery store. Yes. AmY I put it in my nose every morning and every night and my husband and I have not had a cold for five years. And the reason is we get most of our germs Enter our body 80% on our hands, the rest through our nose. So if we can keep our nasal passages and our hands clean, we're way ahead of the game on staying healthy. We have about 200 people in our focus group who use our phone patch which goes on the back of cellphone. The germiest things we touch all day and thank you Andrew. I see that you're rocking your phone patch. Um uh If we can keep our yep, there's AMy's if we can keep our hands germ free, we're way ahead of the game. But of our 200 people, No one has had COVID or a cold since August of 2019. Now that's powerful. No drugs. No, and this is all natural, no chemicals. And here's what's amazing. This one copper roller or your copper phone patch will kill germs for the rest of your life. One purchase last forever. They just found a pyramid in Egypt 10 years old and it had copper water pipes in the bottom of the pyramid. The water in those pipes was 10,000 years old and it was still pure and drinkable. That's how powerful this medal is. So it just just I just became obsessed with. This is the way we have to help people stay germ free. Nobody should be as sick as I was In the year 2000. It was it was horrendous. So [00:12:21] spk_0: you were not responding to the pandemic and coming out with you already had this and it was something that you discovered and you're clearly a serial inventor and entrepreneur. Um you know I'm the same way I'm always inventing new things. I always have new ideas and that's why I just connect, we have to [00:12:42] spk_1: Do one product together. [00:12:44] spk_0: We both, we both [00:12:45] spk_1: love it. It's just the way my brain works. I want to find easy, affordable practical solutions because if I've got a problem. You, my other people have it too. But it's just looking at things a little bit differently but we started this so people wouldn't get cold, it had nothing to do coronavirus didn't exist yet. Actually. Our company was doing lights out fabulous until coronavirus. That's when we cratered because um amazon throughout thousands of accounts that were making kill claims. So last March 18th ST Patrick's Day we got our nationwide E. P. A clearance where we are legally able to say we kill 99.97% of germs and we got that on March 18th but it still took my genius near in Israel near reveille. You know him, he's been working on getting us back on amazon. I had hired six other consultants to help near the one who cracked the code. But it took us until july 25th to get our first product back up. So we're starting all over again. But I'm [00:13:51] spk_0: on twitter. No and that's the thing is like you know it is very difficult dealing with amazon because they're conglomerate right? And you can't get to that right person. And what's flagging your listing is the words in it. Even though you have the authority to claim those words it's against their policy. So you know it's just it's just one of those things and often times and I see this with my clients all the time, it's like it's actually an easy fix. And when I looked at your listings as well I was like oh Marsha this is actually an easy fix. But how are you supposed to know because amazon is not going to give you the fix. You know it's only people like Mirror and me who know like okay we've actually had to deal with this and work through these problems and learn by experience because it's not documented anywhere and here you just get shut down and you don't know what to do. So I don't even know why [00:14:45] spk_1: you don't even [00:14:46] spk_0: know why they don't make no sense. There's [00:14:50] spk_1: no human being to talk to at least back in my sidewalk chalk days. Every one of my accounts, I have an account specialist or a buyer that I could call and say, Hey, we've got, What are you forecasting for the next 90 days. Amazon doesn't give you any forecast. You just better have a lot of product because if it gets strong, you better be able to run. So it's just so challenging the lack of humanness in e commerce. [00:15:17] spk_0: Yeah. That's [00:15:18] spk_1: what I miss the most because I'm a people person, I truly love people keeping them germ free and just people to be [00:15:25] spk_0: Yeah, retail, retail is very still very old school and still very people oriented. And you know, it it, and I think coming from that side of things, it is more difficult. E commerce can be lonely if you're not well connected. And I think that's why you found your tribe in all of us hanging out with, you know, and coming to all these networking events and I would encourage anyone else who's out there who's feeling lonely like they, they don't really know where they're going or what they're doing, start coming to some of these events because it really does make a huge difference and you know, you just you feel networked in and you feel like part of the family and the people are just wonderful. So that being said you were new at the e commerce thing, obviously you have way more experience than most um with you know with retail and with product development and all of that. But what would you encourage new people to do? Um new sellers that are just thinking about getting started and they're trying to figure out how to pick a product and what to do. What's your word of advice there? [00:16:34] spk_1: Well, if they're creating their own products, which is what I've always done. My best advice is to test and find a couple of 100 people who will test your product and give it to them free and get feedback. Because if I could show you the first roller we made, you would just laugh if you saw it now. In fact, amy, I've never shown this before. I'm going to show it to you. [00:16:59] spk_0: Yeah, this is [00:17:02] spk_1: such an embarrassment. This is the very first copper roller. It was a piece of anti microbial copper with a wicky stick holding it to a drinking straw. [00:17:12] spk_0: Oh my gosh! That's gave that to people to test. [00:17:16] spk_1: No, no, no. This was the first one I made. And then this prototype first prototype. That's how that's so you have to test. And then the next piece of advice, listen to what they say and take your ego out of it because some things just aren't worth taking to market and, and you don't know that because we all love our own products so much. Um, so I would say test and listen would be that if you're creating your own products and then start, just start, it's so easy to list a product on amazon or walmart marketplace or um, oh Etsy or Ebay, Ebay's, they don't really protect intellectual property. So I'm not crazy about Ebay, at least if I tell amazon someone is violating my patent there off the next day and I do respect that amazon is good about that. So I would say test, listen and start because if you've proven among 50 to 100 to 150 people that yes, I would buy this if this were fixed up and finalized, Just like we did at the craft shows, we took this to 86 craft shows one year before we entered into selling to the gift stores in Colorado, I already knew what people would pay. I knew if I had three for $10 and they wanted to buy Uh six, I knew they thought it was a good value. If I had one of these marked it $7 a goal, they put it back down, it was too expensive. I just did it all the old fashioned way by watching consumers touch and interact with product. So, and then I also think the power of the media is so huge now the media has changed just like everything else. But when we were on abc world news tonight with Peter Jennings that blew our world up. We were then on Oprah when she had two names, the Oprah Winfrey show, we were on the Phil Donahue, those were big names back then and they, that's what my retailers really loved, that. We were also pushing the media [00:19:18] spk_0: people [00:19:19] spk_1: into their stores. [00:19:21] spk_0: Yes. And it's really, nowadays, it's so important what you do off of amazon. I'm speaking in Miami at the, at the amazon Powell and that's when we're talking about is how your competition is beating you and specifically what they're doing off of the amazon and that's the thing is, is content and content marketing is so important and you know, the things that, it's not even that hard, it's not, you know, people think, oh, it's unreachable for my product to be featured in a major news outlet. No, it's not. You know what, [00:19:59] spk_1: here's what's interesting Amy back when I did sidewalk chalk, there were three networks, abc NBC Cbs, that was it and they were only on nine or 10 or 12 hours a day at certain time. You'd hear the, I think it was, what was the song they played when they all went off the air was a God bless America or one of those songs and then they'd go off the air, the screens were dark in the middle of the night Now we have 10s of thousands of news outlets that [00:20:29] spk_0: are [00:20:30] spk_1: Needing News 24 hours a day. There has never been a better time to get media. It just takes a lot of time. And that's, I think the biggest hurdle for most of us entrepreneurs is waking up and looking at your to do list and knowing what's the most critical thing I have to get done because there's a million things to do every day. [00:20:52] spk_0: So I want to tell you guys that Marcia does amazon lives and she doesn't do them herself. She has found other people who do amazon. I got an email from Marcia one day and said, we're going live on amazon and this time come support us, which is the other important lesson to learn. We could just go all day, couldn't we just talking about all these lessons. Right. And I know everybody is loving it. We're getting all these messages and you're saying the marshes amazing look at this. But also, you know, amazon life is completely new to you. It's, you know, when people are intimidated by it, but you are going, hey, I'm going to give it a shot. This pirate guy has a show. I'm going to get on his show and we're going to have fun and we're going to and not only did you do that, you spread the word that you were going to be live. So that you would get your friends and anybody who is a customer of stable copper to support you. So what a great message and what a great lesson. [00:21:58] spk_1: I'm also doing 4-6 Amazon posts every day and I am seeing continued growth in following and engagement. I don't [00:22:08] spk_0: video shorts on other people's pages on other product [00:22:12] spk_1: post on my essence. [00:22:14] spk_0: Yes. Which is really good. But what you can do, you can do video shorts on other people's pages. [00:22:21] spk_1: You gotta teach me how to do that. [00:22:24] spk_0: Let's do it. That'll be fine. Yeah. So, um, you know, there is [00:22:28] spk_1: much to learn. [00:22:29] spk_0: You're already doing 90% more than most of your competition, which is so cool. Right? So you're learning this new platform and you're doing things that are completely foreign to other people like amazon live. What's that? But amazon live has been around for a while and guess what? Amazon pushes it during the holidays. So they're going to replay all these old lives during the holidays and new ones because they want that 24 7 kind of shopping tv shopping field and you're going to get all that traffic over again. What's [00:23:01] spk_1: Amazing. They'll let you run an Amazon live for an hour, two hours, three [00:23:06] spk_0: hours. They don't care. You can [00:23:07] spk_1: talk about your product and that's why I invited other people because after a while, you know, people get tired of hearing me say conference. Uh, and so I wanted other people to say what they had learned and it really became fun exchanges. I think we did get some really interesting emails and people were happy to, to get involved. [00:23:27] spk_0: Yes. So we're almost at the top of the hour and I want, I don't want to forget Marsha has a special offer for our audience. Um, so Marcia sells these amazing and for those of you who are listening, I'm going to describe them. Um, Marcia sells um, copper plates for your phone. So I've got one of my phone here. Copper plates for your phone as well as um copper [00:23:53] spk_1: rollers [00:23:54] spk_0: rollers. Thank you. I was like, what's the word for that? As [00:23:58] spk_1: key chain or a necklace, [00:24:00] spk_0: key chain or necklace inside [00:24:02] spk_1: home without it. [00:24:03] spk_0: It actually comes with a little clip on the end and I flip it to my purses. So because I like having it on my purse and it's so nice because then I just pull it out of my purse and you know, if I'm in the car and I don't have sanitizer or anything, I just pull it out my purse and just rub it between my hands. And then I always have one on the back of my phone Martius. Everyone with my logo on it, it's so cool and look at it. It's getting character now it's kind of, you know, [00:24:30] spk_1: copper oxidizes with air and you can clean it off. But it, here's a cool thing. Copper kills just as many germs brand new and shiny as it does patina. So it's just a personal choice. [00:24:44] spk_0: Yeah, I love it. It's really awesome. I like the character in the copper um it reminds me of my brand, it has a little bit of character. Um so you just recently listed on cbs and lows dot com and you need reviews. Yes, you be purchases and reviews and we all know how hard that is. So Marcia would like to tell you guys if you go on cbs dot com or lows dot com and you buy one of Marshall's products on there and you just reach out to Marsha, she's going to give you her her information on how to reach her in just a moment. But if you reach out to Marcia, you better know that you did that, leave her review, Help her out, tell her what you think of the product, Put it out there for lows and C. D. S. And that way she's getting a lot of that extra S E. O. Juice, right? And do that for Marcia, reach out to her, show her that she did that and she will send you something free. You're free products. So [00:25:46] spk_1: if you will go to Lowe's dot com or CVS com and buy our product. I will send you a free product with everyone you purchase. And I'm only doing that on Amy's show because we do need to get the sales, we just got on cbs yesterday, lows about two weeks ago. So we need to get sales and reviews started. So it's the holiday season. It's the beginning of cold and flu season in the U. S. So think of all the people that you love that you want to keep germ free and you can buy one, get one free and I'm happy to do that to any of your audience in exchange for a review. Now, here's the cool thing. Amy I can't say that on amazon, you can't ask for a review on amazon but cbs and lows I can ask for the room [00:26:32] spk_0: and it's not like your anyway, it's it's something that we all want to do to support each other's brands and you are asking them to buy the product full price. You're not you're not like I'm going to give you some money to go buy the product that's different. You're asking them to bite full price in return. You're offering them an extra product. And a lot of people, a lot of brands do that. They'll give a free gift, that kind of thing. So that's what you're doing and I think it's wonderful. Um and so caramel asked what is the name of the product? So stay well copper right and [00:27:06] spk_1: proper. And we have a phone patch and we have a Germ stopper roller. Those are and then on on cbs we have the dog tag necklace also which is just like a military dog tag. Some men like to wear those more than, and all of these come on our website. There's more products on our website. Lows has three listed and cbs has three listed because we're testing. [00:27:30] spk_0: Oh yes. So if I shared my story, all I did was search for stay, well all one word, S T A A Y W E L L copper um, on lows dot com and you can see all of Marsha's awesome products come up. I actually changed my phone case uh, just so I could fit these, these products on there. So all right, Marcia, um, last things here before we hit stop and I let these good people who are still in here just ask you a question that they have one. But how can people, if they want to get in touch with you, how should they reach out to you? [00:28:12] spk_1: The best way I'm going to give you my direct email. It's Marsha, M A R C I A at stay well copper dot com. And I'm happy to answer any of your questions and I do just see that. Andrew has a question about how to get product into lows. Andrew reach out to me afterwards and I will tell you exactly how to, it's much too much for this time in the podcast, but I want you to know and I'm happy to help anybody, you know, at my age in life and now it gets to be who I can help and give back to because so many people have helped me learn what I've learned. I I didn't know any of this at all. [00:28:50] spk_0: Yeah, those many years [00:28:52] spk_1: ago. So one step at a time and we are here to help each other. [00:28:56] spk_0: Exactly yes. And it is about giving that right when you have [00:29:01] spk_1: the rest of you amy and your audience because you all know so many people I am looking for a strategic partner that can join me and help take stay well to the next level. I have, I have built this so far but I know to get to the next level, it's time to bring in a really good strategic partner because e commerce is so critical and I don't want to make any more. There was 11 month delisting amazon mistakes. That was a critical blow and I just really looking for a strong strategic partner. So if you know someone please have them reach out [00:29:34] spk_0: to me. I do actually, I have a very good relationship with one of the best in the business and they run health brands like johnson and johnson in PNG and on amazon. So they're [00:29:49] spk_1: great products. We've got proven products that we've got a U. S. Supply chain with no glitches. We have intellectual property protected and I have a list of products that need to be finalized and developed. I don't and I'd rather do that. I can be more valuable to the company doing that then. So, I am looking for that partner. It's [00:30:08] spk_0: time. All right, you guys you heard it here, Marshal? Put it out there. Of course I'll connect you with mine. But if you're listening to the show right now and you have a good connection for Marcia reach out. She's always she's on facebook. She's on all the places, you know, so definitely reach out. She's so reachable and she's just I couldn't believe you know, the first time I talked to, I couldn't believe what a legend I was talking to. And you know, it's just awesome. She's just a wonderful lady. And we just thank you Marcia for being here today. Thank you for sharing your story with us. Thank you for inspiring us and everyone else listening. Thank you so much for being here. I'm going to hit the stop button on the livestream. We're going to do a few questions here in the zoom and don't forget to read, review and subscribe to the podcast. Everyone. We would so appreciate that. And don't forget seller poll is out right now seller poll. You gotta make your votes for your favorite podcast. We would love your votes for But of course seller poll also lets you vote for all of your favorite providers. So get out there seller poll dot com. Vote for our podcast. Vote for any of your favorite providers, including Amazing at home. We would love to get your vote there. Alright. Thanks everyone. Thank you Marcia and we will see you next time on the seller roundtable. Well, everyone, [00:31:34] spk_2: thanks for tuning in, join [00:31:36] spk_1: us every Tuesday [00:31:37] spk_2: at one PM, pacific standard time for live Q and A. And bonus content after the [00:31:42] spk_1: recording at cellar [00:31:43] spk_2: round table dot com, sponsored by the ultimate software tool for amazon sales and growth seller s c o dot com, and [00:31:50] spk_1: Amazing at home dot com.

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17 Jan 2022

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All About Inventory and Logistics - Amazon Seller Tips with Chelsea Cohen - Part 2

Things we discussed in this session:A. Part 1B. Part 2Things we mention in this session of Seller Round Table:Join us every Tuesday at 1:00 PM PST for Live Q&A and Bonus Content at  https://sellerroundtable.comTry the greatest Amazon seller tools on the planet free for 30 days at https://sellerseo.com/Transcription in this episode:[00:00:01] spk_0: Welcome to the seller roundtable e commerce coaching and business strategies [00:00:05] spk_1: with and er not and amy Wiis, [00:00:08] spk_0: what are, what are your favorite methods to send stock to amazon, you know, is it going direct, do you recommend people go direct from china? Do you recommend they go from a three pl um kind of what do you, what are the different processes um you know that that can be used to get stock to amazon and which one is your favorite and which one is the most reliable? [00:00:28] spk_1: Yeah, so direct from china. Always, always, always a good way to go. It gets a little bit difficult to do that nowadays. So that was always the preferred method because you avoid a lot of the fees that you know, the middle man takes up in your three pl so if you can send some straight from china that is recommended. So if you have enough to send a container load and you're able to get that in, you know in terms of your restock limits, that's great but a lot of people are not able to do that now so they're going to have to truck in inventory and it's important to understand the trucking and what's happening with trucking in the amazon ecosystem right now um had a conversation with sebastian of scott, see who will be speaking at our event that Amy and I we haven't mentioned but Amy and I are having an event and he's going to be speaking at it. So I was picking his brain, I really wanted to understand what's going on with trucking these days And it's actually pretty interesting. There's two types of contracts that amazon has with trucking companies. They have agreements where a trucking company can just drop their trailer and then leave and you know pick up sometimes pick up an empty trailer on their way out. Or there are some contracts where basically the shipping company says I'm not dropping my trailer because you are not going to give it back to me and we're running out of trailers. And that's where you get into the trailer shortages. So they have refused. T. Force is one of them T force used to be ups freight and was bought out by a Canadian company earlier this year. But their basic agreement is we are only coming when there's an unavailable doc open and we just unload our stuff and we leave with our trailer. Um And so that that helps to even if they're scheduled appointment is later then say some of these other companies there's some companies that work with amazon freight which amazon freight is basically just a bunch of trailers that they give to other trucking companies and they say here's your trailer, drop it off leave with an empty one. But when they don't unload it that becomes the problem. So you have to understand the companies that you're dealing with the companies that you're loading all of your L. T. L. N. How how do they what arrangement do they have with amazon. And is your net check in time going to be better or worse depending on what's happening in the freight in the freighting industry and amazon warehouse is currently. [00:03:14] spk_0: Yeah that's a really interesting insight because you know a lot of people think that you know all the lT Ls all the shipping, all that stuff is handled the same way. What's interesting is, you know, I've I've done in the past, you know these quick little shipments you know using like the postal service and what people don't realize is like the postal service is actually one of the most reliable when it comes to like small shipments to amazon like I can even do priority. You know get there two days and they check it in like almost immediately because there's somebody there like handing it to him, right? It's not like this giant truck or I mean not necessarily, I mean USPS still backs the truck up but what I'm saying is it's the same kind of set up where they're like handing stuff off. It's not just getting dropped in the yard and then forgotten like in the heaps of containers that are in the back corner that you know the The guy who just worked a 10 hour shift is like I'll get to that tomorrow. You know so [00:04:03] spk_1: that's a parcel delivery, it can be more, it's usually more expensive but if you've really got to get something in and you want to make sure it gets in the check in times can be a lot faster. [00:04:14] spk_0: Yeah, absolutely. So one of the other things that a lot of people have a lot of trouble with is packaging, and that's part of this whole equation right there either not double bagging stuff that needs to be there, not labeling it correctly, they're sending in restricted products, um can you talk to kind of how to avoid that and and maybe some common best practices to not hit some of those pitfalls? [00:04:38] spk_1: Yeah, so, um first of all, you know, amazon has all of that data on their website, so making sure that you go through all of that information and, you know, if you have to create a checklist for yourself, create a checklist. That's something that we've been diving into um in a way, uh in terms of packaging, like obviously if you're packaging and incorrectly, you're either gonna be caught charged fees, amazon will charge you prep fees. Uh and if you're on the other side of things, there's certain requirements for pallet size, there's certain requirements for carton signs. And the very interesting thing is that there are certain requirements right now for minimums from your freight forward. That's something that we've been really diving into, is that, You know what you used to to how used to package your inventory, they might be charging you more because your pack your load is too light. So for example, you know, uh freight forwarder charges, you know, a minimum of 12 kg per carton. Well if you've got seven kg or you've got nine kg, you're still going to be charged as if you've got 12 kg. So reconfiguring, looking at reaching out to your freight forward and saying, what are your minimums and then reaching out your supply, your supplier and saying, what are my packaging dimensions? And seeing if those two are in agreement or if you're being charged thousands of dollars more simply for having light cartons. That's something that we've recently uncovered. And I'm I'm a complete nerd, but I've created a carton calculator or I'm working on creating a carton calculator because I think that's uh an extremely valuable part of a conversation. We know about optimizing containers, but nobody is talking about optimizing your cartons now that we've got the U. S. Customs has certain requirements. Amazon has certain requirements and your freight forwarder has certain requirements. [00:06:48] spk_0: Yeah. Absolutely. I think you brought up a lot of great points there. One of the other things that uh one of them you mentioned that you don't want amazon is to do your prep right? I mean I've been doing this for a long time and I have stories of like, you know when I've sent something and they say something's wrong and they re label it and the entire thing, they re label is wrong and then I have to do it all. Like finally I just get so frustrated. like send it back to me, I'll fix it and send it back to you because you know, it's not your product, right? If somebody else is prepping your product, they're not gonna know what the product is, they're not gonna know, you know, you know, your your product better than anyone else, right? So if you like, outsource that to somebody else, you're taking a chance, especially amazon who, you know, it might be that that person is, you know, I assume their turnover there's probably pretty high, I've heard it is, but I don't know that firsthand um you know, so it might be somebody who's just like, you know, slapping stickers on as fast as they can, they might have pushed the wrong button on the screen and now you've got, you know, hundreds of items with the wrong sticker. So, um, I definitely think that's something that people want to put more time into, especially on the first shipment, is just kind of making sure all those boxes are checked. Like you said, maybe a checklist would be a good thing to, to come up with on your own. The other really interesting thing on this conversation is weight and size. You kind of mentioned that, right? And so many sellers don't realize there's so much profit margin to be had in getting really creative in terms of your packaging, your product, you know how it's packaged all of those kinds of things because if you get creative, I mean, like for example, one of Amy's products, you know, she went from something that was this huge thing in this huge box to something that could collapse down now. It's, you know, a lot of places are charging volume rather than weight for shipments, things like that. So you can really squeeze so much more profit um, out of your product if you're getting creative and being really informed on the types of packaging that you're doing any other uh, kind of tips that you can use in terms of squeezing as much profit out of these shipments as you can without, you know, sacrificing quality of the product or packaging. [00:08:51] spk_1: Um, I mean, I think optimization all along the line, you know, from the carton to the palate to the container is extremely important. I think that you're really missing out on a lot of profit. Like you said, one of the other places to consider looking at getting more profit is your units per carton, especially if you're stopping by a three pl doesn't really matter as much if you're going from china directly to amazon. Um, but a three pl will charge you for the, for putting a sticker on a, on a container or on a carton, right? Every sticker is a dollar 75 something like that. Like literally just putting a label on a carton and then, you know, carton pull fees and you've got, you know, labor fees, so you've got all these fees that stack up. So if you have a product where you know 11 shipment is you know 1000 boxes and you can get it down to 800 boxes just by changing how many units you're putting in there, you can save a lot of money. And so that's something to consider when you're doing that though, you have to make sure that the size of the box isn't too big for either U. S. Customs, your freight forwarder or amazon. And then you also have to consider that if you have way too many units amazon restricts how many units you can have a box, you have to make sure that if you put enough so many units that it's not gonna be crushed. So you might want to increase the thickness of the box, maybe you know a box that's either you know five layer or seven layer because that becomes an issue. So if you are saving a bunch of money but then half of it arrives broken, you know what is the point? So those are all things to factor in. And the final thing to factor. And this is where I just, I geek out and I'm like we need a calculator with the final thing to factor in is if you have 100 you know, if you have 100 units but you're only allowed to send in 50 because of restock limits, then that's going to be a problem as well. So you don't want to have so many units in there that it doesn't allow for the flexibility of sending inventory into amazon. [00:11:05] spk_0: Yeah, absolutely. One of the things so you know creating a shipment amazon, you know I learned this the hard way. Um but I'm sure that you can give some great insight in terms of and it's something fairly simple but a lot of people don't know the difference between like you know when you're going through all the steps case pack and then the single items right? Like and a lot of times if you can do case packed it's it's a lot better in terms of only having to go to one fulfillment center and things like that. Can you kind of explain the difference between the two and the pros and cons between that too. You know those two different setups? [00:11:34] spk_1: So the individual in the case pack. [00:11:36] spk_0: Yeah. [00:11:37] spk_1: So most people who are shipping private label I believe are going to do a case pack. But the difference is, you know, you've got, you've got basically it's all the same product all all put together in so you don't have multiple different products kind of mixed in the same carton. Um So if you're able to do that, it helps to save on confusion. It also helps to save on prep time prep time, especially if you're packing your own stuff. It can be very labor intensive when you have to uh you basically have three different locations that you have to ship to and then you have to figure out how many things go in this box, these boxes to go to one place, how many things going those boxes to go to another place. And if you get that confused or mixed up then you know you're going to have problems with amazon having to correct your mistake and delay, you know the availability of the inventory when it actually checks in. [00:12:34] spk_0: Yeah absolutely. So what are some recommendations for new sellers who are just getting started selling any kind of tips that you can get people you know to be successful out of the door. [00:12:46] spk_1: Um Yeah I would say you know having something to track your inventory. I you know we are our software is a little bit um I wouldn't say advanced but when you there are tools out there so when you're just getting started you either can have a spreadsheet which we have a. D. I. Y. Spreadsheet that we make available to people who aren't at the point of being ready to pay for a software. But just understanding um understanding your numbers and understanding how to track your inventory. If you have a third party warehouse, you actually have to be checked tracking both your reorders and your transfers. So it can quickly get complicated. So having a system in place from the get go will help to ensure that you don't run out of stock. [00:13:36] spk_0: Yeah, I love that. So one of the other things I'm interested in is if you you maybe you know this or not, I'm not sure if there's anything new. I haven't done a shipment in a while, but you know in the past you were able to create shipments to FDA like when you're selling a lot And be able to kind of lock in that inventory, right? So if you didn't get to it right away that you could then ship, it you know like uh I think it was within 30 days um to kind of lock in that inventory space. Any tricks like that, anything that's kind of any workarounds right now because I think they decrease at two a week. Right? When you create a shipment now, I think you can only have up to a week, but that's still something to think about. If you are going to stock out to try to shoot that gap, right? [00:14:15] spk_1: Yeah, so they so they will sometimes cancel your orders and sometimes they won't, so it's kind of a crapshoot. Um but one of the things that was was working well for people um it was kind of a hack that we were using amazon's very interested in multi channel fulfillment. So they want to know they want two things. I think it's it's basically they want data, they want to know how much their, their um their competitors are actually moving. So Shopify, if you connect your Shopify account to full filter, amazon amazon gets to things that you get to know how much you're actually moving through Shopify. But they also get the customer addresses as well, which I think is pretty devious. So they've had this program where they're pushing and promoting to get people to move their inventory back to multi channel fulfillment. A lot of people when the restock limits occurred switched and said, you know, I'm just going to have someone else fulfill this. So they're trying to get people to start fulfilling their off amazon sales through amazon newly. And one of the things that they were able to, um, to, to do, to try to reward people was last last quarter. They rewarded them by giving them additional space. And so you have some people who are getting approval. We have people overnight. Their limits were doubling or they were increasing by 50%. And there was an email, um, it's multi channel fulfillment sales at amazon dot com also seemed to work for amazon dot c o dot UK. I'm still encouraging people to send them an email and basically what you're looking for is you're looking, they're looking for 30 day projections. What do you plan to sell on amazon and On your other channels within the next 30 days, It was a program that they implemented for Q3, but as, as recently as about a week or two ago, people were seeing success with it still. So it's, it's interesting but multi channel fulfillment actually contributes to your restock limits. [00:16:28] spk_0: Yeah, that's interesting because I think that part of the reason, like you said the inventory limits pushed a lot of people to three pls and also merchant fulfilled, right? So I've been doing that pretty much from the beginning. I've always had backup stock on merchant fulfilled because I've run into so many issues with amazon fulfillment, especially during the holidays. And I feel like a lot of people the last few years got burned by that, right? They were like selling like crazy and all of a sudden like, wait, I can't send any more in what like, and a lot of them didn't even have, you know, merchant fulfilled backup or anything like [00:16:57] spk_1: that. So [00:16:59] spk_0: I think this might be their, you know, their uh effort to try to win trust back. But in my opinion, it's still really smart to diversify that inventory, right? Like have it at, at amazon, have it at a third party and even have some in your garage if you need to, you know, just have some backup. Um of, and even if you do the 80 20 and it's just your best selling product, right? Or your two best selling problem, whatever, it is just a kind of hedge against that because you know, amazon talks a big game on all this stuff, but you know, if all of a sudden the shipment start going up like crazy because there's some event that happens in the world or you know, Covid or whatever, you know, whatever the event is now that we've learned that you know that that kind of stuff can happen, [00:17:39] spk_1: I [00:17:39] spk_0: always like to be prepared, but you know, I'm kind of a prepper anyway, [00:17:42] spk_1: so you know, one of the, one of the bright thoughts I had a couple of days ago that I actually haven't, haven't shared around very much on the topic of restock limits and F. B. M. Is the, we know that the sell through, you know, F. B. M actually contributes to sell through, it contributes to restock limits. We know that the top of the of the formula is sell through in the bottom of the formula is your FBI utilization if you're selling F. B. M. Those sales are going to contribute to improving that top line and going to contribute to improving the bottom line because the inventory is actually not being held there. So you could essentially, let's say source of products that um is very lightweight, very easy to sell, let's say for example, you know, tattoos, you know, women's tattoos or whatever you stick it in a little sleeve and you send it off and it's extremely cheap to fulfill. Um you could be do at a very, very discounted price, you could improve yourself through at the same time, you're not holding any of that stock at F. B. A. And so you can actually use F. B. M. To improve that sell through rate significantly. And I don't think anyone really started thinking about or talking about how F. B. M. Actually offsets both of those portions of the formula. [00:19:06] spk_0: Yeah. And it also what people don't realize too is when you do like for example F. B. M. Or seller fulfilled prime, something like that, just another category of another class of of offer, right? When you go and you're listening and you say I want to create a new offer, you say you know uh one's FDA ones, F. B. M. Ones, you know, third party logistics partner. Um What what people don't realize is that the that amazon also takes into account things like your location right? Like if you're F. B. M. Location, like say you're in California right? You're in near san Francisco. If somebody pulls up your inventory from san Francisco and you're, you know if you drop it and say the postal service or if you do, you do whatever it is. They know they know how long that shipment's gonna take to get from your F. B. M. Location to that customer. And sometimes they will actually push the customer to your F. B. M. Listing in order for it to get to the customer quicker because amazon is all about delighting the customer right? So if it's coming from their fulfillment center, maybe in southern California, maybe it's going to take two days. But if it comes straight from you it's only gonna take a day. So those are all also, so to me it's like the more offers you have, the also the more opportunities you have to sell because amazon will see that in the algorithm and if your your competitors gonna take two days from, from the amazon fulfillment center, they still may push your offer. You know, we can't guarantee that because they don't share the algorithm, but that's my guess and we've kind of seen that happen before. [00:20:26] spk_1: Right? Yeah. [00:20:28] spk_0: All right, last but not least we we love getting to this point is, you know, we always talk amazon here, but but as you know, it's funny because in the amazon world I always see like people are into amazon crypto and real estate if you like. Those kinds of three things always go together. So it doesn't necessarily have to be e commerce or any of that kind of stuff. But what what are you what kind of things are you interested right now? Anything you're studying, anything you're doing in personal development, We always love to hear about those kinds of things. [00:20:56] spk_1: Me personally. Um funny enough, I'm actually, we got something called a farm stand. So I've been kind of addicted to this farm standards, this hydroponic, a guy from a company called lettuce grow, pay about like $600 and you get this big stand and we're growing things. So we haven't eaten lettuce that we've grown there. We've got little green beans growing, we're trying to grow zucchini, having a little bit of trouble with that little mini egg, eggplants, and tomatoes and peppers and things like that. Um and they grow extremely fast, like you can have a head of lettuce, you know, from a seedling to a head of lettuce at your eating, you know, on your dinner table in like three weeks. So that's been really, really impressive and exciting because I used to kill everything. I've always wanted to be a gardener and I've always been horrible at it. Um and that's been, you know, extremely exciting, especially knowing that I can grow my own food supply chain. You know, it's crazy. People are always talking about how, you know, we're all going to starve and you know what, that paper's still, so that's been um probably the most exciting thing that I've been doing recently. [00:22:05] spk_0: Oh, fellow prepper. I love it. Yeah, we are uh we're doing the same things like I said, you know, like, like we were talking about before this all started, you know, the world's just seems like it's going in a strange place and nowadays it's hard to know who's telling the truth, You know, that I think that's the biggest issue right now is it's so hard to gauge. There's no really, you know, unless you're getting it for like I feel like a lot of people are going back to community driven information right? So now it's all like we ask our friends and family like what was your experience with X, Y or Z. Because there's an agenda no matter where it's coming from. Right? So I love to get it from the horse's mouth. So yeah, that's uh I always say this, I could do, I I've thought about it doing a podcast just on this kind of stuff because I think it's super super interesting. But anyway, back to you where can people find you tell us about what you're up to uh you know what you're offering and how people can get in touch with you. [00:22:56] spk_1: Sure. So you can look up so stocks dot com and learn about our software you can also go to, so stocks dot com forward slash connect my social media. Is there my email? Um also I do webinars, so I do webinars on the subject of inventory management, on the subject of the basics best practices and restock limits and then logistics as well. And we also have a demo. So if you go to so stock dot com forward slash connect you can see a demo of the software. Um The other thing that we're doing is Amy and I are putting on a texas meet up event it's a seller, meet up, meet up isn't even appropriate for this what we're doing, there's just so many amazing sellers that are coming out to come speak at this event And so I think that if you have the ability to jump on a plane and come to austin texas, austin texas, it's going to be on the 15th of october we have a mixture that's being hosted by the guys that sellers funding that's going to be on that thursday. So the 14th thursday night we have a V. I. P dinner hosted by the guys that elevate brands and just a ton of amazing people, it's going to be an intimate event. So the caliber of people that you'll be able to connect with on an actual real deep level, not just one of those, we've got people who speak at events that have 3, 4000 people, you know when we can gather right, like prosper, they speak these huge events and they're going to be speaking at our intimate event. So you'll have the ability to connect with them. People like Tim Jordan and norm Farrar, um, the guys from solos, Oh and john Tilly, whose co founder or who is the founder of song guru. Just all of these guys um canopy management, brian johnson, all of these guys are going to be there, Speaking about the fourth quarter, basically, How do you, how do you optimize your fourth quarter, How do you make sure that, you know, you really get as much as you can as much as possible out of the next four or the next three months. It's three months, right? Yes. The next three months of selling on amazon [00:25:12] spk_0: of it and you get to go and say, y'all and eat lots of good barbecue food, right? [00:25:16] spk_1: That is correct. It's a requirement. And to find out, go to seller seller meet up dot com. That's where you can find more information about the event and about the tickets and the speakers and everything like that. [00:25:31] spk_0: Awesome. Thanks so much for being on today. Chelsea is super interesting and I think that this is a definitely a subject that doesn't get enough play because you know, a lot of people just think that it's like an afterthought right? I just send my stuff in, right? And then I sell it, but you know, it's just like Amy and I are talking about listings all the time. You know, this is a foundational thing and if you don't get this right, it can bite you as you grow. Um so it's good to get it dialed in now, So great information. Thank you so much. It was awesome to talk to you. As usual folks. If you would please rate review subscribe, let your friends know if they're getting into amazon about the podcast. You can join us live in the zoom meeting to ask questions to interact with us to get stuff that we don't record or uh published on the livestream. So a round table dot com forward slash Live every Tuesday one PM pacific time. Thank you guys so much for being here. We'll see you next time on the seller. Roundtable, [00:26:22] spk_1: awesome. Thanks guys, [00:26:24] spk_0: Thanks for tuning [00:26:25] spk_1: in, join us every [00:26:26] spk_0: Tuesday at one PM pacific standard time for Live Q and A. And bonus content after the recording at cellar round table dot com, sponsored by the ultimate software tool for amazon sales and growth seller S c o dot com [00:26:40] spk_1: and amazing at home [00:26:41] spk_0: dot com.

26mins

10 Jan 2022

Rank #3

Podcast cover

All About Inventory and Logistics - Amazon Seller Tips with Chelsea Cohen - Part 1

Things we discussed in this session:A. Part 1B. Part 2Things we mention in this session of Seller Round Table:Join us every Tuesday at 1:00 PM PST for Live Q&A and Bonus Content at  https://sellerroundtable.comTry the greatest Amazon seller tools on the planet free for 30 days at https://sellerseo.com/Transcription in this episode:[00:00:01] spk_0: Welcome to the seller roundtable e commerce coaching and business strategies with [00:00:06] spk_1: and er not and amy Wiis [00:00:08] spk_0: hey what's up everybody this is Andy are not with amy Louise and this is seller now round table number, wow, round table number 125. We have Chelsea a cohen here today. Chelsea Oh thank you so much for being with [00:00:25] spk_1: us. Yes, thanks for having me. [00:00:27] spk_0: Usually I can nail that but today it's marbles in the mouth [00:00:31] spk_1: day, No problem. Facebook was down yesterday so you have [00:00:36] spk_0: the withdrawal? No, I was hoping like I posted when it came back up, I was hoping it would just never come back. I think our society and world would be better off honestly at this point, but it came [00:00:46] spk_1: back [00:00:47] spk_0: unfortunately. So here we [00:00:49] spk_1: are a love hate thing because I totally, we advertise on it and I was like, it really got you to start thinking about how many people you are not connected to unless you're connected through facebook instagram or WhatsApp. Right? Yeah, first I'm like Lincoln I need to like bulk up my linkedin because that's the only safeguard against losing all your context. [00:01:13] spk_0: Yeah Lincoln works with like I've been doing since you know, facebook banned me for like the third time a couple of years ago I've been doing a lot of Lincoln stuff. So yeah, I have a giant amazon seller group there. I have a ton of connections there and some of the best leads for my software business for clients, things like that have all come from linkedin so especially if you're in the, you know, B two B space, you can't really beat linkedin. Um also I just feel like the conversations there, you know, it's like, even though I'm guilty of it as well, like I just get tired of seeing all the politics and all the Bs that comes along with facebook. So um yeah, so I I really enjoy Lincoln and I agree. I think it's a good lesson in terms of owning the audience, right? We talk about that a lot. I think that's a stark reminder of how if you don't own your audience that you know, if facebook decides, they don't like you all of a sudden they can just shut you off. So kind of scary. But enough about that Chelsea to tell us about you kind of your journey up to this point, you know, if you want to go back to where you were born, where you raise school, kind of, anything like that, we'd love to get to know you better. [00:02:17] spk_1: Sure. It's funny because I always start with my amazon selling story. Um but I'll probably, I'll probably start with one of the more interesting stories that actually happened when I was eight. My mom told me this happened. Um and it sounds like me, I don't have kids yet. We are going to, we are planning on having kids in the next year or so, but when I was eight years old, I was talking to my mom and she was telling me something, you know, well when you have kids you know and I'm like what? She was like well when you have kids and she was telling me something, I was like I'm not going to have kids, she's like really why not? Like who will take care of them, I'm going to be working. So that was like from the beginning like since I was eight years old, I knew that I wanted to to work and to do things and like she had her own business, she she had a daycare and then it she started homeschooling myself and my brother and then that turned into a school and uh my dad had his own business for a while and so it was always you know entrepreneurial, I was always seeing that people were building businesses and so you know that was kind of the start of things, I've done a bunch of random things but they've all been either My own business, trying to do my own business or making money to pay off the debt from my business so that I could go back to creating my own business. So that's kind of how I started with Amazon was in 2014 after one of these stents is working at an accounting firm um in finance, so that's kind of the start, [00:03:52] spk_0: oh so so that was the start and then so you you discovered amazon and like was it uh was it like you got an amazon and you were just killing it. Was there like a steep learning curve and kind of, what was that journey like? [00:04:07] spk_1: Yeah, I mean 2014, it was definitely a lot easier if you did something different than you could do well. So I signed up for a course that a lot of people took back then called the amazing selling machine. And I actually, we had missed the cut off because they do these, you know, twice a year, you know, promotions, we missed the cut off and we actually, we tried to do so well, we'll just find another course and we started to do are a um and that went horribly. We had, you know, they had some app and it was scanned wrong. So so Ari my husband was buying things and bring them back and I'm like, these are not profitable and it was just, I was like, this can't be what they're all doing. I had a friend making 60,000 a month who has done this other person, like they can't be going to big lots and buying, you know, random products and this can't be how you make $60,000 a month. So I ended up um someone wanted to refund their course and they ended up selling it to me. So I paid some random person, $3000 for this course. I'd never seen a promotion about the course at all? And it wasn't until I actually got access to the course that I was pitched on private label and I was like, this is brilliant and I got so excited. And so from the point we started the course to the point we sold our first product from china. It actually was only seven weeks. So that was like how uh ambitious I was because I thought we were behind everybody. Uh, and then we started selling the first product sold fantastically and we uh launched our second product after that in about eight months into the business. We were able to put our jobs, [00:05:51] spk_0: love it. I love it. So um, on that same note, kind of what was, you know, what was the biggest struggle in terms of, you know, getting into the business like, you know, some people, no matter what their background, right? Like for me I was kind of like a tech guy. I had a background in like my aviation and all that kind of stuff, but like, and I was an entrepreneur almost my whole life, but I didn't really know about like systems, processes, kind of some of the things that when you own your own business, especially one like an amazon business where there's so many moving parts and things that you need to know things you need to do, you know, uh customer service that needs to be replied to at a certain point kind of what, you know, what were your weaknesses, once you started going into the business and how did you improve on those? [00:06:35] spk_1: Yeah so I think delegation has always been my my week weakest point um you know feeling like oh well I can just do it myself and you know I'll get it done faster if I do it myself. But it's like yeah maybe that one time you get it done faster but when you compound all the times you do it yourself you're actually wasting a lot of time. So that's always been kind of a hang up of mine. And so I'm constantly working on improving systems and then also just being able to kind of let go and let somebody screw something up. [00:07:08] spk_0: Yeah I love that. All right so let's get into the meat potatoes, why you're here the ninja skills that you bring to the table, our inventory management um you know kind of helping people navigate that as it's getting worse by the year with amazon, you know either having inventory limits, um you know losing stuff. I I just heard from somebody, I think it was our last guests who said that they like amazon lost their their entire L. T. L. Shipment for like two months. You know there's all these struggles when it comes to inventory on amazon. I remember when I first started like I didn't even really grasp the concept of FDA or even how that worked. So kind of how did you get into inventory and you know, kind of how, howard do you navigate it effectively? [00:07:54] spk_1: Yeah. So I originally, it was to solve my own problems, you know, um I had the experience of having our entire christmas shipment lost until after christmas lost, I'll say lost because it's not really lost, its don't, it's sitting in a parking lot somewhere and it's not being unloaded and we'll get into more about that and how to prevent that from happening. But that was why I got into inventory management. The margins on my business were, you know, were shrinking and there were certain things that I couldn't control amazon fees, you know, people coming in dropping their prices, black cat tactics from competitors, all those things I couldn't really control. But what I could control was the lost revenue or the lost profit from either overstocking or stalking out. And so I really figured out that I had to get a handle on how can I make sure that my inventory arrives on time, How can I make sure that my orders are correct and I'm not ordering way too much and taking out a loan, paying interest on that loan and then paying all those storage fees after the product doesn't sell like you think it's going to sell. And so that was In 2018 when I started putting together a really detailed spreadsheet and found that it takes a heck of a long time, definitely. Yeah, I think that just inventory management in general is something that all of us struggle with because if we don't manage your inventory, you ran out of stock or you lose money and there's so much in there and it's like we're always trying to figure it out, right? We're always trying to create a new spreadsheet. I know yesterday I was you know, talking with my husband about our business processes and I'm like okay, how many new spreadsheets have we created in the last, you know six months in people don't tend to keep them up either because you always need a new metric, right? Like okay, well no I want to look at it from this side of things and it's not easy and there is no perfect solution, right? You mentioned people with so stop that you're constantly making improvements to your tools and you know it there's no perfect solution but it's an important solutions so I can definitely identify with that. So what do you think in terms of struggles that amazon sellers face with inventory management? What are those major struggles that you hear from people? What are they dealing with when it comes to inventory management? Yeah, it's interesting because you know it has evolved a bit when we first started um there is something that we that we recognized was happening with sellers because the first year and a half of so stock, I personally on board and every single person who came into the software. So I talked with hundreds of sellers and that was one of the ways and has been one of the ways that we get a lot of our insights into where we need to head, what we need to do, you know, features and things like that. But one of the common things, there are two common things that that sellers just generally weren't doing one was they were not planning with a buffer stock in mind. They didn't have any safety net, they just, you know, they they didn't have that as part of their system. Um so they were running out of stock or they had the air freight things and those were big problems first of all and so in onboarding people they would be shocked at their first order. But it's like, yeah, you need to, you need to create that first order is always going to be larger to get yourself caught up to implementing a buffer stock. So finding the ability to do that whether you know, it's adjusting your cash flow, your terms, your payment terms, whatever it is, finding a way to hold additional inventory just in case that was kind of the first side of things. And the second thing that we noticed people were not doing was planning their marketing against their inventory. So that was a big Problem. Even eight figure sellers that we talked about Would stop themselves out because on a whim they wanted, you know it's mother's day, we should do a mother's day campaign, let's do a 20% off coupon, push it to our list and sell a ton of this product for mother's day. And father's day is the next month coming coming up. You know father's day they're stalking out and the cost involved and not just stalking out and then having to airfreight and having to re rank your product but 20% off that you basically gave your product away when you could have spelled it full price and state and stop. You know if you're paying an agency that's a cost too. So all of these costs kind of start adding up and so that was something that we started really pushing as a concept of inventory minded marketing, you know, making sure that your marketing is in sync with your inventory. Got it. So the first thing that you mentioned was having a buffer stock so making sure you have enough stock to have a buffer in between orders. And then the second thing was planning your marketing around your inventory so that you're not just again causing yourself to stuck out and really be stressed out at the same time. Something that you taught me that I didn't know, I know it's impossible to teach me things that I don't know. But anyway. No but something you taught me that I didn't know about restock limits which is what all of us are dealing with, whether you're an eight figure cellar or a five figure seller, you are dealing with restock limits and something that you taught me was that stock outs and how much my inventory stays in stock has to do with my restocked limits. If I'm out of stock, I don't actually can't send more inasmuch in as I could before. And so that was an even bigger reason to stay in stock. And it made all the sense to me once you showed me how restock limits are calculated. So speaking of that, how do you recommend sellers deal with restock limits or look at restock limits? Yeah, so it's important to understand what, you know, what contributes to restock limits. Um what is amazon using to predict that and we know, you know, there's certain things that amazon has inside of that algorithm that we can't know and then we also know that no matter what amazon's normal, you know, formula for calculating restock limits is every now and then they can put full, you know the lever and say guess what all of you guys were lowering risk documents because we don't have, you know, things are going chaotic and crazy in the warehouse, they're going to pull a lever. Um that's something that we have learned in the past the hard way. So it gives you a very unsettling feeling about your inventory and about your business, but in terms of restock limits. Um the metric that is most important is sell through and sell through is made up Of two different things. The way the amazon looks itself through is a look at your 90 day sales. And then they also look at the average inventory that you are holding within um that period of time. So it's your utilization. Right? What are you holding at F. B. A. And then also what are you selling? And so uh that makes up yourself through. We see in the I. P. I. Limit one of the metrics when we're looking at R. I. P. A. Score is sell through. And so that if you if you know that it's 90 days uh of sales. You know that if you increase your 90 day sales, your total sales you're going to increase your self through. Which should help to increase your restock limits. But if you also lower your um utilization right? Moving excess inventory that that has an effect on cell through as well. Right? So those are two things to not to over Overstock inventory that's not actually moving through the system. Um And so sell through is the number one metric, if you have you know looking at all of the metrics restock limits I. P. I. All of that it all comes back to sell through. And that's what amazon really cares about. Got it. So if we can master ourselves through then we can master are re supplements. Um And as far as those, those units that are not moving, I'm guessing you're going to recommend that we maybe pull some of that stuck out and manage it through a third party logistics provider. But the tough thing is right now it's really hard for people to find Reliable 3rd Party logistics provider. So do you have any advice for how people can pull out their stock or not from that stock in that isn't moving as much and how can they find a reliable three pl uh yeah, so not all three pls actually do outside fulfillment. So you're looking for, when you're looking for ways to fulfill that inventory outside of amazon, you're looking for someone who is a fulfillment center and someone that you can actually trust will be solely focused on fulfillment or we'll have a separate dedicated team for fulfillment because one of the things that we've seen happen last year is there were companies that decided, okay, we're going to do fulfillment, but we're also gonna do replenishment, which means sending boxes, sending your pallets of inventory into amazon. And when these companies, when they went into fourth quarter, they were not plant, they had not planned well enough to actually fulfill both sides. And so the replenishment orders tended to just sit there while all of the fulfillment orders took place. So you need to make sure that if you're the company that you're working with does both that they'll be able to handle both sides of your business first of all and second of all um that they're actually they're actually recommended by someone that you trust because there's a lot of these companies that are popping up, we have a list that we that we give to people of basically community source or community vetted uh contacts for that particular service. Got it. Cool. So I know you have a ton of really great resources on the so stock website about all of that, so that's a great place for people to visit. Um Now in terms of reordering from suppliers, so you mentioned that people need to have a buffer stock, what do you recommend for? How often people should order? How should they manage their orders from suppliers as far as how much they should order at once. And then how should they get themselves on a schedule in order to have that buffer stock? Yeah. So so yeah, the first thing would be to figure out what your buffer stock needs to be. Um and a good rule of thumb for Amazon it gets difficult depending on what your restock limits are, but a good rule of thumb is to keep it at at least 30 days worth of inventory. Some people are going up to 45 days if they can afford it just because of how long it's been taking uh to check things in and and we are switched, we switched to something called an as needed Uh or a min max restocking. So instead of you know a lot of the time people like to go okay I only want to send inventory in every month or I only want to send it in every two months. That that has been shortening and shortening but you have to be more flexible because of how tight some of these restock limits are. We do what we have settings called min max restocking where we say you know if we want inventory to be sent in when it gets to this you know this low amount, we want to stock it up to this high amount and kind of have a minimum and a maximum um That helps us to instead of like a schedule, a transfer schedule in days, it's a transfer schedule based on uh the inventory, the minimum and the maximum inventory settings if that makes sense. Got it. Yes that does make sense. And then um one more question about just staying in stock, How do you recommend that sellers stay in stock? Yeah so staying in stock has a lot to do with logistics and I think that um it's becoming more and more clearer how much you really need to understand logistics and how you need to plan for any scenario. So having a plan B. And having a plan C. Is extremely important for staying in stock. The Andy gave an example I think of someone who their shipment got lost for two months. So that would not have, that would be a problem, it always be a problem, but it wouldn't be as much of a problem if you had backup solutions, for example, sending all of your inventory in L. T. L. Um I call it uh you know, putting all your eggs in one basket or letting someone have all your stuff right? You never want to let someone have all your stuff if amazon has all your stuff and it's on one trailer and they decided to park that trailer and not unload it for two months and tell you it's lost, then that's going to destroy your business, right? The repercussions of your restock limits crashing after that and trying to work your way back up into a range where you can consistently have inventory be fulfilled by amazon becomes very difficult. So holding something back so that you can send it small parcel delivery if needed. Uh is important, it is expensive but it's not necessarily more expensive than stalking out. So send most of your stuff, you know LT L. And have some reserved to send small parts of delivery if you need it. Same thing with putting everything on a boat, but most stuff on a boat and then have inventory sitting at your suppliers warehouse to airfreight over if needed. So those are some of the main um logistics. Uh it's kind of tweaks that you need to make that and having an outside fulfillment center if needed as well, awesome. So the other thing as far as sending in new stock. So if I've got some stock in a three pl or my own warehouse and I've got you know some in stock in amazon. How often should I be sending in new stock to amazon? Um I mean it depends on what your restock limits are but you'll want to have a sell through rate that probably is between uh in amazon inside amazon two and three. So um amazon looks at 90 days. So three would be that your monthly you're turning over your inventory monthly. Right? Um So you want to make sure that you can turn over your inventory monthly or say every two months. That would be the frequency. Uh It depends on you know it depends on the product, how you know how much inventory you send in of course but that would be that would be a good target. [00:23:39] spk_0: Thanks for tuning in to part one of this episode, join us every Tuesday at one PM pacific standard time for live Q. And A. And bonus content after the recording at cellar round table dot com, sponsored by the ultimate software tool for amazon sales and growth seller. S. C. O. Dot com. [00:23:55] spk_1: And amazing at home [00:23:57] spk_0: dot com

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10 Jan 2022

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Scale Your E-Com Business Quickly - Amazon Seller Tips with DAVAN Group - Part 1

Things we discussed in this session:A. Part 1B. Part 2Things we mention in this session of Seller Round Table:Join us every Tuesday at 1:00 PM PST for Live Q&A and Bonus Content at  https://sellerroundtable.comTry the greatest Amazon seller tools on the planet free for 30 days at https://sellerseo.com/Transcription in this episode:[00:00:01] spk_0: Welcome to the seller roundtable e commerce coaching and business strategies with and er not and amy Wiis, hey, what's up everybody's and er not with [00:00:12] spk_1: Amy Wei's [00:00:13] spk_0: And this is our roundtable number 124 and we are super excited to have David Lang and Ryan Shepherd. Welcome guys, thanks for being on Yeah, baby. [00:00:23] spk_1: So we messed up Ryan's last name. It's hard, it's hard. [00:00:30] spk_0: You know what, [00:00:31] spk_1: it was just reading very fast. [00:00:33] spk_0: I was, if I was still doing that, I'd be in big trouble for not getting the call sign right, so what happens when you get old? [00:00:42] spk_1: Yeah, [00:00:43] spk_0: hey, you [00:00:47] spk_1: know, I've known these guys for a while and I'm so excited to have them on the cell, a round table today and have them share their inspiring story with all of you guys. You know, it's always good to have sellers on, we have had a lot of service providers on lately and they're helpful because they give us the tips and they get to uh, you know, they get to talk to a lot of different sellers and work with a lot of different sellers and along with that comes a lot of experience that they can share with us, but we love having sellers on the seller roundtable because it's really inspiring to be able to have you guys here to talk about your story and you know where you got started and where you are now and what you're working on and um, so without further Dude, David and Ryan, why don't you give us your background and just tell us kind of how you got started and uh as much as you want to tell us, and he always says, you know, if you want, if you want to leave a blood sample or whatever, it's [00:01:48] spk_0: ok [00:01:49] spk_1: much as you want to tell us, let us know um a little bit about you. [00:01:54] spk_0: Okay, well it started back in 1985 when I was born. Uh so um yeah, so I'm we're living in Germany, so we're both Canadian, but we're living in Germany actually and uh we're living in Munich, that's where we met, we met online actually, which is kind of funny because now we're working a lot online with other people and meeting cool people we met online because my wife was also Canadian was homesick. Um and I said, look, let's just try to find more Canadians living in the city. And that's how Ryan and I met. And at the time, my wife and I had actually started a little amazon business. We started just the two of us. I saw a course online um that I decided to sign up for. It was just a dream of mine to always try to produce one idea to real product. I gave myself a year deadline. So I said by New Year's Eve, I want to actually launch a product. So when we met Ryan, he saw me working on all this stuff, this amazon stuff and we finally launched our first product last year. Um it was right as Covid hits. It was, we're live, our first product was february 2020 we got in, so at least I had all my socket amazon and we're trying to sell it, but it was a complete dot, it wasn't working. And Ryan saw me a little frustrated trying to figure stuff out. He's like, what are you doing all this time? Come and have a beer, let's go to the beer garden. I'm like, no, I gotta work, I gotta hustle. Um, and I was doing that, you know, I have two small kids. So I was listening to all these podcast Andy your voice literally, I would listen to it. Uh, this podcast as I was like pushing my daughter to fall asleep for a nap. She only falls asleep while we're walking or driving the bike I was listening to and you know, while listening to Annie, you didn't put her asleep. I was listening to all these podcasts and try to figure everything out. And then Ryan kind of got a, got a feel for it. Yeah, it was kind of curious, you know, I was like, I've never done anything on e commerce before. And so I was just kind of kind of curious and offered, um, I think initially to help out with what was it, some social media. So that was the deal. So our personal backgrounds, I'm an airline pilot. I am a scientist, so very analytical people, but also very different. Yeah so quite different but similar. We have some similar interest but I actually made him a deal. I'm like look I'll get you my buddy pass but I need you. Just care of my social media stuff. And I'm thinking okay I can get like free flights, this is going to be a great year. Do some social media just make a few facebook post and I can have some free flights. And I think it was two weeks later that covid hit and flights stopped, flights stopped. So he never got a fight. But then he also never did a social media post for me ever. Because I found out he hated social media and he just wanted to help me. But [00:04:31] spk_1: you get the bump into that deal. I [00:04:34] spk_0: know but he was getting Photoshop to help me with some Photoshop work some artwork. And then he would actually go online and try to find more people that I could follow that I could learn from. Because I'm a big believer of trying to find someone who has already made it and just learn from them. Um And he actually found Amy which was hilarious. He's like hey look she's starting a course is about listening writing. I think you're listening might suck. We don't know do of course you're going to learn some stuff about S. E. O. Um Sure. And I think Amy I think the word that goddess was canonical U. R. L. And you had you had an article talking about that and I just blew our minds were [00:05:08] spk_1: like science. [00:05:11] spk_0: Uh Yeah that's how we started doing different quarters. And uh you know we continued I had a bit more time as more than I wanted last year because of Covid. I was in flying a lot. Um I was grounded for most of the year and then we made it official, Ryan joined the team. We became a trio at that point and then Ryan and I got to work, did all the work. My wife was really supportive at home, took care of the two kids and you know kept her, she helped with some creative stuff and then uh we basically retired that first failed product But it took all the learnings from it. And then we launched two new ones last October we finished the year with 73,000 in revenue. So that was a big milestone for us for our first year live. We thought that was pretty good. And now this year it's our second year we have we've launched several new products. So we're currently at seven different products. Um and we're at 1.4 million year to date. So pretty excited for Q4 and it's been an exceptional growth. It's been busy nonstop and it's been kind of wild. We still don't really fully believe it or know what happened. No I mean I started this whole thing with [00:06:16] spk_1: a full head of hair [00:06:17] spk_0: for anyone. [00:06:18] spk_1: Can you [00:06:19] spk_0: Can imagine what my hair looks like, we've been doing Amazon, you know for two years and we based about 30 years, so [00:06:27] spk_1: wow, well, you know, it's just amazing that you guys really figured out, first of all through taking the listing class, that the product might be a dug, your first product might be a dud and you you still were able to sell that dud by changing up your listing. And then you also realize like wow, imagine if we like applied this stuff to new products and look how fast, you know, you also took many other learnings, not just mine, but but you were able to scale so fast and that is just really, really incredible and it's it's a good thing to show others how if you just stay focused and you continue to learn what you don't know and you continue to apply the things um that you know others are working for others, that you can really make it work for yourself. So along that line, what was really the biggest challenge with amazon once you got started and is there any advice that you want to give other sellers that are just starting out? [00:07:28] spk_0: Uh Yeah, so I think, I mean the biggest challenge at the beginning, when I was starting, we have 00 background in e commerce. Um No, no real marketing online, everything was new to us. So the biggest challenge that we had at the beginning was learning things while implementing them at the same time and it kind of felt like we're learning we're building and luckily our character is is okay with not fully knowing what's going on and still trying to figure it out and we didn't see it as a as a bad thing or as a failure. So we were okay. My original concept was just get a product life, it doesn't matter if it fails, just get it live because that's when the real earnings are going to come from anyway. And I was totally okay with that and I said we just got to get out there and then that that was the one thing that kept us going because it didn't de motivate us. We didn't see it as a failure, We saw it as a learning opportunity, we just saw it as a practice run the first product. Um And the hardest thing was just a constant learning, dealing with the external obstacles because amazon loves throwing curveballs right, like especially last year we all have them the ace in restock limit, right? And everyone scrambling to get a three pl last minute and all the three ps are full, the shipping delays lost inventory. I mean we see like since day one, I think they've especially has seen amazon is this beast and it's just like don't poke the beast because you can get your account suspended for three months and you know so he's passed that on to me and now we're both super cautious anytime it comes to you know poking, poking the amazon beast so we stay well within you know we don't do any black hat tastic everything or gray had everything is you know white we think forward like what can we do today? That's probably going to get us through. You know not only the next few months for the next few years in amazon we kind of look where amazon is headed and and make our decisions based on you know what we think is still going to be acceptable in two or three years on amazon. Yeah like like one key example that was just when it came to barcodes right at the beginning, I knew I could probably get an exemption and I could just do an F. And skew. But I was like my mindset, I was always like that but think bigger. Think really big, forget amazon like right? And I get into fights because if people ask us what do you guys do? He'll be like we're amazon sellers. I'm like no we're not, we're e commerce people, we have a business like we're bigger than just amazon and uh so we'll fight a bit. So we're always trying to think like bigger than amazon to actually protect us from amazon because so we go with Gs one barcodes from the beginning right? And now it actually evolved that you need a Gs one bar codes and it's better to have the official one. It allowed us to get on to walmart. Um so all that stuff, just thinking always bigger than Amazon has kind of protected us from amazon, [00:10:03] spk_1: right? Thinking of amazon as a sales channel instead of your entire business. I think it's so important, you know? Yes, it's a very strong sales channel. But I'm always trying to think about diversification as well and I know and he does the same thing, you know, we're always doing new things and we're never afraid to pivot to another strategy or to selling somewhere else. So um what about product selection? So you kind of talked about how, you know, your first product? I think all of us have that first product story, we're like learned from that one. That was fun, but how has that evolved for you and how do you now choose a product or develop a product? [00:10:45] spk_0: Yeah, I mean I think it's it's really keyword based keywords, search volume. Can we can we make a product that has high many many keywords with high search volume and that are highly relevant for this product. You know, You don't want to launch a product that only has, you know, a couple search terms with, you know, 300 search volume, you know, a month. And and then you're wondering why no one is visiting your listing or why you're not gonna be in sales. So it's really just keyword. Yeah. And I think that that's exactly why the first product that, that they've launched um you know, failed and why? Well here's the people that bought it, they loved it and the people that found it, they loved it, but people weren't finding it right? And so the course that I originally did said you just have to differentiate as long as you're different and better you're gonna get sales. That might be true if people are looking for that. Right? So if you do something that's so unique and so crazy and so out there, then maybe you should launch on Etsy or via facebook or you should, you know, find a group that's specifically looking for that. Um but if you're going to just launch straight on amazon, there has to be demand for it. So we just pivoted that approach, saying, okay, let's find the search volume and let's create a product that's better than the competition on that search volume. So [00:12:07] spk_1: you aren't really thinking about finding a product, [00:12:11] spk_0: you're [00:12:11] spk_1: finding keywords where there is an opportunity and where others have not developed a product in that area yet. And then you're looking at those keywords in that opportunity and developing the product to match. So that when customers search that keyword and there's nothing to match you are the first to market with that product that perfectly matches that keyword and that intent behind it and there you go, right, You've got you've got a great product out there. So it's it's that's a great strategy to use. It gives you enough search volume where you're not stuck, right? But it also gives you the search volume plus the product that meets the need that isn't currently being met in the marketplace. [00:12:55] spk_0: Plus it's a very good way to think of variation for product to right? So if you're looking at pet products and you create something for a certain type of dog, then you just find what are the search flames, what other kind of dogs have high search volume. And then you just pivot that product turned into variation for that type of dog or at least marketed that way. And that's how we were able to come up with so many different variations of our product, which are all very similar, but they're similar to us because they're similar manufacturers, a similar process however, because they have a completely different set of keywords for Amazon is a completely new product in a completely different market [00:13:29] spk_1: and [00:13:29] spk_0: great with all the products with all the different keyword tools you have nowadays, you know, they're just so accessible to people with helium 10. We love brand analytics because that data is coming straight from amazon. Um and then even one time Dave and I were just sitting kind of searching on amazon dot com in the search bar and we started typing in something and the search for auto completed, but we're typing into something we never even thought about and we're like, are we launching that product? We just launched it a successful a [00:14:05] spk_1: that's really, really awesome. Yeah, I think that that is a really great way to find the market. It's like um when they say find your buyer instead of looking for that product right, where you're just getting stuck in that loop of analysis, paralysis, Find your buyer and then give them what they're looking for. And that's a very quick way to be able to launch and rake very, very quickly. So speaking of launch, can you guys talk a little bit about your launch process? What does your launch process look like? And Yeah, [00:14:43] spk_0: yeah, it's a good, it's a relevant topic because yeah, we just launched a new product a couple of days ago, so we're actually smack dab in the middle of a new launch right now. I mean maybe Dave you can you can take the lead on this one, but it's just well our launch, we actually started way before like during product selection kind of so it all starts with the keyword list, we create our keyword list, we make sure that when we select the keywords that we want to really launch for and when we launched the product or during the product selection, we don't just look in the month that we're looking at the product. So that's what we were doing keyword research or product research in February, we're not looking at February search volume. What we're looking at is the Q4 of last year, maybe the year before we try to get historical data on it. Because we want to make sure we have a product that has a nice big peak and we also want to see seasonality of the product, end of search volume. Right? So we actually plot, okay, where are the peaks? Okay, there's gonna be, we're expecting a valentine's peak maybe or a summer peak or christmas speak. So applaud it all out and we do this kind of like a forecast of each keyword what their search volume looks like. And then we say, okay, in which month are we launching and what's the search volume, that's highest in that month, those are the key words we're going to go for, always looking forward those saying we're going to use the chance now. So for example, the product we're launching now, we're trying to be organically and the top christmas keywords because by the time christmas comes we don't want to start having to rank for where PPC is going to be expensive. Everyone's gonna try to rank for it. So we're always thinking like 34 months ahead. Where do we want to end up after we finish this launch. So that's kind of where it starts and then for the actual launch itself. Um we actually just in PPC so we started very narrowed we do a very very focused PPC. Our main objective when we launch is just to prove to the algorithm that we know what our product is, what keywords we want to be listed for rank for we targeted with exact match only and we only start actually with a sponsored products. So we don't do any brand ads at the beginning on it or video ads at the very beginning. We can explain later why we only do sponsored product. We try to get a very high click through rate on it to show relevancy. So we actually do a higher top of search modifier and we're okay with a high a cost because we know that it will be worth it long term. And we start on a very very small list of keywords that are high, highly relevant, so ultra relevant and in the first couple of days we may not get a lot of sales but the sales that we do get are at a very high conversion rate right? And then we start we track everything. So we have a lawn tracker that we built where we track our daily sales and or organic ranking of all the keywords that are in our list where we can actually see what's happening and we can see a halo effect meaning that we're targeting only five words but we're starting to get ranking on 10 15 words. And once we see some ranking from that halo effect, we start now pushing with PPC on that phase two or phase three keyword Yeah, I [00:17:34] spk_1: think normally Andy and I both would be like, what do you mean? You only use PPC because we really want people to use external traffic, we want you because it's just ranks you really, really well but in your case, what you're doing differently that most people don't do is you're doing that keyword research extensive keyword research and you're launching based on those keywords and the timing of the search volume of those keywords and you're focused on the platform specifically for that search volume. Um so I think in your case it's okay to be using and clearly this launch strategy is working well for you because [00:18:17] spk_0: it's [00:18:18] spk_1: really been successful for you. So not only are you using keywords to choose the right product, but you're also using your um your keyword research [00:18:30] spk_0: in in [00:18:31] spk_1: depth keyword research from the past, right looking, you know, a year or longer backwards so that you can predict what is going to be in the future. You're planning your launch around that and you're really focused in on those keywords that you want to be on page one for that you want to convert for that are super relevant to your customer, you're launching your ranking for those first and then you're moving on to your next ones and your next ones and you're having the snowball effect. So well it is an amazon only PPC thing I think that uh well the proof is in the pudding and you guys don't [00:19:08] spk_0: know fairness, we do start running external ads after about 23 weeks, but we want the 1st 23 weeks just be fully in our control where we get full data because when we run external adds the attributions, we found they're not very accurate or they lag sometimes, so we don't feel like we're in control and we're a bit control freaks, right? So we like to have as much data as possible to see the results from what we're doing. That's why we just focus on amazon for the 1st 34 weeks and then we start doing external as well and even if you think what we do is just, it's just you know, google search ads again, just on those very high relevant terms like you're driving external traffic but it's still ultra relevant um you know, external traffic that could convert on your listing. So I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing either in terms of staying focused just on on that one thing unless you have a dedicated, you know, you know, if you're a small team and you don't have somebody who's like dedicated to PBC or paid ads or something like that uh you know the whole 80 20 thing, you know, if you can put more uh concentration into making sure that those campaigns are successful, that might be better than you know, kind of half assing like three or four different, you know, traffic sources and being like as it working, I don't know, maybe, you know, so that's not necessarily a bad thing. Uh Yeah, it's not necessarily a bad thing but but also you know uh you know, getting that data and then turning on the the traffic that you know the key words that are you already know through the amazon platform are converting uh not necessarily a bad plan, especially if you're getting in there before the honeymoon period's over. Yeah. Sorry. No, I was just gonna say going back to the first product that we had. Yeah, because we had a really hard time selling it. We were trying everything we were throwing, you know, Pinterest facebook, all the things we were filming video ads in my backyard, you know, on my camera just before. It was good because it forced us to look at all the different avenues of traffic. But it did spread us pretty thin and we didn't see a huge boost based on those efforts. And the only thing that really taught us is like if you screw up the product research phase and if you try to launch a product that's destined to fail on amazon, it's just gonna be expensive and time it's going to cost you time and energy. It's just not worth it. [00:21:25] spk_1: Yeah, it's really awesome that I think all of us learn from those failed products, we try to sell them any way possible and it builds us up but like you were saying if you know the platform that you're selling on and you know that you're bringing a product to market that is meeting a need that isn't being met right now and you have a strategy for that platform and I agree the first my phase one of launch, I don't run, I do spin up my google ads but that's just because google ads take a couple of weeks to spin up but I only focus on exact match sometimes phrase match depending on the key word but very very targeted keywords. I'm not running an auto campaign during the first couple of weeks launch because your listing is an index yet so you're going to get a bunch of bad data and it's just it's not good to not tell amazon exactly what your product is and where they should be showing it because otherwise you're just going to get bad data and you're gonna be index for all sorts of things that you really have no business being index for. So love that strategy. I think it's great and I'm glad that you guys also take advantage of external traffic eventually. That's awesome. [00:22:39] spk_0: So [00:22:40] spk_1: great launch process but what about your best, give us your best ninja ranking [00:22:46] spk_0: tricks, best ninja ranking trick. So we've tried so many things. One trick that I could mention is what's bad for ranking because it will allow you to avoid it, which is almost as good as ranking. So the nice thing that we learned. So last year when we had the ace and restock limit and we, you know, our first product fails, we only bought a couple 100 units for the 2nd and 3rd product and the nice thing was that we saw we're gonna run out of inventory, we're gonna sell that we're gonna be out of stock. So we actually turned off BBC and what we noticed was by turning off PPC all our sales were organic that organic sales have way more power for ranking that PPC does and before that we're putting so many sales on PPC and even top of search, we want to get that PPC sale because we figured that's the only one and by just having a bit more patients getting organic sales actually helps boost it. And then we actually found it on a couple other websites I think seller S Ceo or something that they actually applaud that showed you the ranking juice of different types of ads or organic sales external traffic, how much that helps. Right And organic actually carries a lot of the weight. And we actually tested that again a couple months later when you finally back in stock and we're running out of stock, We turned it off again and you know, we did $480,000 worth of revenue, 30 days, purely organically. which was crazy. The real lesson came when we were out of stock, then we're out of stock for two months so like okay this is gonna be hard, we're gonna have to re rank now, we had all the stock we could ever imagine because we bought a lot of stock and then we're pushing PPC hard and what we noticed was the harder we pushed like we opened the floodgates, the worst are ranking God and like it doesn't make sense, we're giving amazon more money, we're getting more sales by what was kind of happening was that we are at contribution was going up so we're getting less organic, it wasn't counting as much, we're putting the, you know the we're spending a lot of money for top of search, so the sponsored ad was always above the organic one always. And so the customer had very few chance for cannibalizing organic sales. Um so then we decided okay we panicked, we said okay we only want to do highly relevant, our best converting one was our video act. So we turned off all PPC except for the video ad and then we noticed our ranking was hurting like this doesn't make sense, we're converting so well our Yoon recession percentage is good and not only was the video ad converting, well it was it was all, it was driving a lot of lawsuits as well and we're like, we're selling our video at is targeting a single keyword and it's selling a ton why is in our ranking was just stagnant on this keyword. So then we realized that the video ads for amazon is considered a brand ad, so it's attributed to the brand, not necessarily to the product, so it doesn't carry the weight of the product for the organic ranking as much as essentially saying, okay, this brand, let's say Nike is getting a sale. It doesn't really know what product you're selling cause it's a brand at is the same like if you run a store at right, it just gets attributed to the brand. So although they're really good for conversions and like they were cheap for us at the time, there wasn't a lot of competition, it wasn't helping with the rank. So like our ninja trick would be to everyone that talks PPC there, obviously most of them are trying to sell you their PPC products or methods or their agencies so they're going to say PPC is master and you have to do it, but sometimes less is more because you still want to try to get those organic sales so don't cannibalize your own organic ranking with the PPC stuff and it might be as simple as saying, look if we're on the Top half of page one we're going to make sure we bid low on PPC so that the sponsor replacement is below the organic placement as of like you're going to catch them the second time around. Thanks for tuning in to part One of this episode, join us every Tuesday at one PM pacific standard time for live Q and A. And bonus content after the recording at cellar round table dot com, sponsored by the ultimate software tool for amazon sales and growth seller S C o dot com and amazing at home dot com.

26mins

3 Jan 2022

Rank #5

Podcast cover

Scale Your E-Com Business Quickly - Amazon Seller Tips with DAVAN Group - Part 2

Things we discussed in this session:A. Part 1B. Part 2Things we mention in this session of Seller Round Table:Join us every Tuesday at 1:00 PM PST for Live Q&A and Bonus Content at  https://sellerroundtable.comTry the greatest Amazon seller tools on the planet free for 30 days at https://sellerseo.com/Transcription in this episode:[00:00:01] spk_0: Welcome to the seller roundtable e commerce coaching and business strategies with and er not and amy Wiis, [00:00:08] spk_2: right? And I think it's so important to look at your placement too. What I like about your launch strategy is that you're focused on very relevant keywords. I think a lot of people spend a lot of money on so many irrelevant keywords or they'll put way too many keywords in a campaign and they're relevant. Keywords aren't getting impressions because one you know, broad match is running away with the entire budget and you know, they just don't have the ability to really look at that at a at a really great level right, where you guys are taking just a few super relevant keywords, you're really focused in your checking your placement you're looking where you are organically amazon is definitely making it tougher because there are more sponsored ad placements now on the page, you gotta get like three quarters of the way down the page now before you even start seeing organic listings and the other day we can see that they're testing more sponsored ad placements at the top because they've been testing that they've had eight spots for ads, they've been turning that on and off lately. So I think it's going to be harder and harder. But the one thing that we can learn from this ninja trick that you just gave us is that it's important to also check where your ads are compared to your organic placement. It's great, make sure you're at the top of page one for that super relevant keyword that you're going to convert all day on but then also take a look on those lesser important keywords where you're still on page one have that sponsored at below it right? Where it's not so much to adjust your bids accordingly. I love it. That's a great, great trick. And yeah, [00:01:56] spk_1: I was just going to say one of the biggest things I've spent, I looked at my account the other day just because I was like how much, how much PBC haven't done just in my own account. It was like $2.1 million dollars since I started what I've been doing this for a long time. But one of the things that I had to learn the hard way which you guys won't have to spend that much to learn. A lot of these things is one of the most basic things which I mean so many people are, you know, when, when, when we got hired to go look at some PBC accounts And we go in there, it's trimming the fat right there. They're just they're not looking at the data and going oh these you know 30 keywords since the beginning, haven't given me any sales and I hate turning keywords off but I love uh you know turning them off by bid in in other words, you know, reducing bid to the point where it's not gonna show unless a major uh competitor drops off, You know, something happens. The chances are pretty slim. But I I hate turning keywords off but just trimming the fat and, and you know, once again going 80, 20, right? Looking at the 10-20 keywords that are performing over and over again and you know, putting pushing that budget towards those keywords that you know, are are working. Um especially if you're budgeting out right, If you, if every day you log into your account and by noon you're, you're, you're, you're out of budget and you can't scale that budget or it's not performing well enough or something like that. The easiest way to then optimize those does you know that PPC is to turn off? What's not working and concentrate on what is working. So um more to uh, you know, that's kind of staying focused that David Ryan seemed to do in terms of PBC. [00:03:29] spk_0: Yeah, I know, I think you see a beast and exactly like you said Andy like we've all been there where you see a campaign that converts, you know, one out of 11 clicks and you're like, oh I got a sale and you don't want to turn it off, but you kind of want to turn off but you don't and uh what what Dave and I saw was, you know, look are are organic listing like our unit session percentage. If you look at the business report, you know, our conversion was maybe, You know, 30, on this one listing and then we were looking at keywords that were only converting, you know, one out of Of 10. Normally I think 10% would be good. But for this product we're actually that's hurting our unit session percentage. So you know, tone that down or even pause it. So look at your unit session percentage and kind of use that as a benchmark. Your PPC shouldn't be bringing far too far. [00:04:18] spk_2: Yeah, I love looking at organic versus PPC sales and placement and just you got to look at all the pieces of the puzzle and make sure your understanding your metrics because you know, you got to be able to measure things right? So speaking of measuring success, let's talk about scaling how did you guys scale? [00:04:38] spk_0: Yeah. So uh it came from. So the first step is that whole mentality thing. Always thinking bigger than you currently are right because right now you're small when you start your small but always think next. So any time that we would right even a purchase order I would discuss with Ryan look, we've got to build this so that if you know next time we place an order, if it's bigger that it supports a bigger order and we do everything on excel because we love itself. So we even did a purchase order on excel where we just have to type in the units, it would totally auto populate all the specs to all those units for all the color variations and everything is done and every purchase order we would say okay we got to edit this because we're changing it a bit, we're getting bigger, next purchase order will be easier. And now we're, we've been saying that for a while but now we're actually at the point finally it's finally at a place where we literally, so then we have this order forecast where we have this sheet where we look at the excuse that we want to order and we just copy and paste that forecast number into the purchase order first page and it's fully done. So we ordered $250,000 worth of goods in China and it takes four minutes to do it. So having those systems in place allows us to kind of scale bigger because the business is, it goes when it once it gets momentum, those purchase orders come fast and you feel like, oh man we just had when we just did the inspection. Oh yeah we need an inspection checklist. So like we don't want to restart our work every time you go sit down. So we say as we build the business, we've got to build everything to be like a procedure that we can just you know, modify a bit but then we used every time it comes up and that's that's a nice sweet spot where we're at now where we feel like if we have to have another inspection or mid inspection or shipment that everything is a much, much faster now and it's, it's a steep learning curve. But I mean once you figure it out, you can make these processes. Yeah. And and so now for the scaling part, I mean obviously we needed some financial support too. So once we saw, okay, we understand our system, we know we can work well together. We, we think we figured out amazon we're gonna need some funding because we knew we needed to leverage what we had already built to scale bigger. Um, so Dave called his mom please. Uh uh No. And so we are lucky and that's where networking came into effect. Right? So luckily were part of all these different facebook groups and we saw that, you know, someone posted in a facebook group. Hey, I'm working together with this startup, they're starting to fund these sellers and you know, if anyone ever needs some funding, right, contact us and I remember this was I mean are are good product. Our first good product had just launched. We literally had a couple of weeks of sales data, but we had this epic forecasting system where we knew that we were on track and we knew we were going to hit the numbers, it was for us, math. Um, and we convinced this startup to actually fund us for $300,000. Um, so that was our first round of funding and then the second round of funding, they give us a million. So we've just with that money and we've been able to pay them back. It's great, we have great margins. So that allowed us to grow that fast and it was just because we had the systems in place, the forecasting in place, um that they believed in us and I think it's been pretty good so far. [00:07:52] spk_2: That's amazing. I love that you built, you started with the end in mind, you're building processes along the way, you're thinking, how can I make it so that I don't have to manually do this ever again. That's so, so important. It's something most of us start with that kind of technician mindset and we're self employed first before we actually um you know, move on to starting to build out those processes and grow our team. So I love that you guys did that in that, you looked at your forecast and you've got that money ahead of time because that also stops people, you know, it trips people up. So it's really awesome. And [00:08:31] spk_0: 11 trick to give on that on the whole thinking of the endgame. So I mean, Ryan, he similar as a scientist, he works on stuff daily and he did it and I'm like, we gotta, I told Ryan when we're working and sell, I want you to every time you open an Excel sheet, I want you to make it as if we're going to be able to sell it to someone else that has never they have nothing to do with our business. That's how we got to think of it. Let's build it. And we got to sell it. I started making them pretty putting in, make it pretty, putting borders [00:08:59] spk_2: very pretty. I can attest that you're [00:09:02] spk_0: very pretty significant here. And I'm like, look, we're working together. So I got to be able to open your sheet. You gotta open mind. No, they're good. They're good. But I wanted it to be pretty because then there's two things happen. One you get excited to use your own tools to their built. So good that they're good for multiple use cases down the line. So you don't, it's not just a one off, you can use it, you know, in 23 months when you do another product use the same sheet. And then three, now we were actually able to start selling these Excel sheets and we're actually doing a side hustle to a side hustle. So it's it's just been a it's a little trick build your systems as if you're going to sell that system to someone else. [00:09:36] spk_2: I love that. I do the same thing. I learned everything so that I can teach it and at the same time I learned it at a really great level. And I also have created something that I can give to someone else and charge money for. So it's a great process and I know that you guys give great value with your with your sheets and they did the same thing. He built tools, software tools, you built seller S. E. O. In response to him running his amazon business and you know it's just it's really great to have the tools that you need to be able to scale your business, especially if you build them yourself and you can get other people to you can give other people help at the same time. So awesome. Where else do you guys sell? Do you just sell on amazon? You mentioned you started selling on walmart? Do you sell another channels besides amazon and walmart? [00:10:25] spk_0: Uh So no we're just on amazon walmart and uh we have our own Shopify store as well. So those three channels and uh I mean amazon is still the bulk of the sales, but it's you know, walmart is we just we just got approved for walmart fulfillment service. So WFS so we're excited about that so that, you know, we can because I you know, we were still learning the walmart algorithm but I did that. Maybe being WFS the two day shipping is huge for ranking. [00:10:51] spk_2: Yes, everything else on walmart's algorithm is totally jet but you could do the if you do a shipping, it's pretty good. I've been playing around the guys that [00:11:02] spk_0: let us know let us know because [00:11:04] spk_2: yeah, no I've been I've been connected with the guys that data spark who created this walmart data tool and they're playing around with stuff to trying to figure out, especially for private label products, how you get those to the top of search because on walmart everything's about like sales and um you know if you search for something like dog toy, you also get kids choice and walmart, [00:11:28] spk_0: it's totally [00:11:29] spk_2: jacked up. So [00:11:30] spk_0: some search terms, they actually pull up just like a category thing where you can [00:11:34] spk_1: like categories, [00:11:35] spk_0: you don't even see products. I'm like I just search I want the products but they make you go into these nodes so we still haven't figured it out but [00:11:42] spk_2: well we know to keep in touch well as we figure out walmart, you know, Well I think it's and eastern. Yeah, [00:11:53] spk_1: I should've cleared my throat first. Right? So guys, what I'm curious about is you know, with all the stuff going on in the world, um you know, what are you guys gonna do to hedge against things like supply chain issues, labor issues and just like the general turmoil that's going on in the world right now. [00:12:10] spk_0: Yeah, I know really good questions. So that was actually a strategy that we kind of had before. So when we're about to place our third order in the year. So that's like our Q3 order um Ryan and I, we looked at our numbers and we looked at the financing that we had God we just had a really good cute too. And we said, look how about we just take half a virtue for order and ordered prematurely on purpose because what we saw was a trend an increase of shipping costs. And we said, and then we did a cross calculation would the inventory placement at our three pl the cost associate to that be offset by increase of shipping. And it was almost break even. We said look the containers are going up so much. We're sending six containers now at a time. So let's just send three of those containers that we're going to do for Q four early. We'll store them, it will be 10,000 month, let's say storage fees but it'll be break even and we'll be sure to have the goods stateside for Q four guaranteed. So now we have a lot less pressure with the delays because we're always like 34 months ahead of an inventory stateside. We're able to do that obviously because of a very solid sales period in Q two. And the financing that we had but we have now tried to use that to also implement it in our business to say at any given point we've got to have at least three months at in the States which is good news because yesterday our supplier wrote us that they got the power shortage notification in china but they're going to be shut down there only going to be on like half production speed. So we're able to now say it's okay we know we have goods and that alas is till March but we're placing the order now already just to try to advance or lead time. [00:13:49] spk_1: Yeah, [00:13:50] spk_0: I think kind of the other side of that story is like yeah getting in ahead of Q. For but going out of stock on amazon sucks. I think you guys going to test that, you know when you pump money and time and effort into ranking a product and then you go out of stock and you're out of stock for two months and then just you got to start the train going again and just pump so much more money and effort into it. So we're like, we just don't want to go out of stock. So let's make sure we have enough stock on american soil to essentially make sure we don't do that again. Yeah. [00:14:22] spk_1: Yeah it's awesome. One of the things that I was lucky about is you know, years ago I did a lot. It started as merchant fulfilled right? So before I even did FBI was merchant fulfilling and so um I was lucky enough to have enough property to where I would just literally have, I think Amy I think at one point I sent Amy pictures of this but I had like containers in my backyard Um and that was my my three pl so I didn't have to pay anyone but I had stock and I would you know order extra every Q. four. And you know as the uh one of our main products that cell's amazing. Every cue forward as it scaled up every year, I'd have that extra stock and everybody else would run out. And that's you know where I'd make my money. So it's awesome that you guys are pre planning the people who don't pre plan, we say this every year. It's like the people who don't pre plan and and run out of stock. Well you don't realize is as you as more and more sellers as you get close to the holidays, more and more sellers stock out, right? So all of a sudden now if you saw a stock and you're in the best position possible because then you can start scaling back Your ads, you can start uh increasing your pricing like you you're in the spot now where it's like you know now instead of making you know $30 a unit or whatever it is, you're you're now making 50 or you know just because now you're able to scale not only your your ads back but also increase your price at the same time. [00:15:36] spk_0: Oh definitely. And you know what's a very good comparison to that. There's something with DPC is budgets so the way that everyone sets up their budgets right? Is that it starts at the beginning of the sales day and if you set a budget for $50 it's gonna run out let's say I don't know by six p.m. And then there's a lot of you know then you're not running at at the evening time. So what we actually learned is that if you actually bid less your budget stretches out and the cost per clicks at the end of they are so much cheaper because there's less competition. Most people are not running as in the evening because they're out of budget for the big keywords. [00:16:07] spk_1: Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. I have an episode if you guys go back through the podcast go look for day parting. And that was one of the strategies that especially like uh in the weeks leading up to um you know like black friday cyber monday things like that. People are going crazy on bids right? And usually it's a losing battle. But what I would do is I would day part in the beginning of the day so until like noon no ads and then turn them on at noon and then for the rest of the day it would run now all of a sudden I'm blowing through that budget but my clicks are way cheaper because so many other sellers have now budgeted out already throughout the day because those you know cost per click has gone up so much so yeah I love [00:16:44] spk_0: that manually. Uh [00:16:47] spk_1: No so in seller S. C. O. There's a you can literally just kind of like drag hours on like when you want your ads to. And I also did a ton of testing where I'd have campaigns that would just come on like super early in the morning like 123 A. M. Like I was doing all kinds of time testing. Uh There's some interesting stuff that comes out of that um You know it's a [00:17:05] spk_0: software dude though, does it actually pause it or does it [00:17:07] spk_1: just, yep it pauses it positive [00:17:11] spk_0: because we just heard in the community, some people saying never turn off you [00:17:15] spk_1: know I've heard that but I think it's if it's in the same day so in other words if you don't turn it off for multiple days um I don't think I don't think it has an adverse effect. I mean you you can of course test it right so just spit up a campaign with like one keyword and test it. Um But yeah there's especially during the holidays, you know everybody talks trash about day parting but I definitely saw some really interesting um effects by using day parting. [00:17:40] spk_0: Because what we did we were using a software what they were doing is they were just actually just incrementally increasing your budget. So you would say like look I want to spend $600 or whatever a day and they would say okay well a lot then you know $100 in the first three hours and the next $100 in the next few hours or whatever and [00:17:56] spk_1: they would incrementally increase it, [00:17:57] spk_0: but we didn't actually like that method. So yeah, [00:18:00] spk_1: yeah, yeah. There's a lot of other interesting things you can do to is you can spin up, you know, two of the same campaigns with different bids and you can have one that runs at one part of the day, stop it and then start the other one. Like there's a lot of fun things you can do there. Um, at some point I would love to be able to automate all of that. Um, but yeah, there's some, there's some fun stuff with PBC that you can start every creative to write. Like [00:18:22] spk_0: we'll do waterfall campaigns right? Like, well yeah, just bug the competitors at the beginning of the day. Yeah, yeah, [00:18:30] spk_1: yeah, yeah. There's, there's, yeah, I mean PBC is an art, people don't realize that, you know, they think it's all cut dry and you know, even even the PBC experts out there, if you ask, you know, they're going to have 10 different ways to do things. But what's cool is to look at, I always tell people like, you know, don't take my word for it, take what I say, go research it, see what other people are doing and then test it all and see what works or take some of the, you know, some of the stuff people are doing here and combine it with this and I mean there's, there's so much fun to meet PBC is one of the most fun parts of amazon. Um, but I, I love marketing and adds, so to me that's, it's, it's always a blast to go in and in turn dials. So guys, one of the other things I would love for you to share as you know, everybody always shares, you know, especially with guys were like, you were being successful is, you know, they think it's like so easy to get to where you are. I would love for you guys to kind of talk about like some of the struggles that you guys went through and you know, like I like, I've told people on the podcast before, there were, you know, holes in my wall. You know, I started selling on amazon in 2012. There were holes in my wall on occasion because of some of the just absolute like beyond frustrating things that you run into on amazon any big hurdles that you guys ran into and, and kind of how, how'd you plow through them. [00:19:42] spk_0: Yeah, so many. Right. So I got scars. Yeah, we got started. It's so tricky. And I think the hardest thing is just to tell yourself, hey, it's temporary. I think the more hurdles that you have, the more you realize, hey, we just passed those 10 and we thought that was gonna be the end of it, You know, where there was a failed inspection with a really [00:20:03] spk_1: bad product, we're [00:20:03] spk_0: like, well and oh no, we didn't catch it or the first one star review. Um, so what we had, our biggest, biggest one, I think to date was when we were at it, we had a massive, massive march april may and then we're fully out of stock and it took us till july to get it ready and they had the restart limit. So we said, okay, that's fine. We sent in 20,000 units, the amazon L. T. L. Pick up and we'll be back in stock in no time. And it went into like a middle warehouse somewhere. Narnia, Narnia and amazon just said, yeah, no. And they didn't give you a tracking number because if it's an amazon partnered carrier, the amazon ground logistic KGl, they said it'll be dropped off with them 24 hours of pickup. So you don't need a tracking number. So we didn't have a tracking numbers were trying to go and no one knew where it was and it took two months. So now and the problem is in the system, it says there's 20,000 units inbound, we weren't able to send in more so, and we have this financing and we have to pay back all his financing money. And so like we're like, I'm luckily we had some profit. We haven't paid ourselves out every yet. You know, we had Katie and cheese, like we haven't eaten. So, um, that was a big stressor just because you felt so helpless, it wasn't in your control. We didn't make a mistake, right? And I think that's the hardest thing. And that's also the one thing where we just take a step back and say, look, this isn't our fault. It happened. Um we keep, we stay on top of it. We talked to them, the people that finance us, we said we gotta really just the payment schedule, there's no way we can do it. It's not our fault. Uh they're super understanding. So that was good and that was the lesson to realize like if it's, if it's not our control, there's no real point of stressing about it. [00:21:42] spk_1: We just have to do. Yeah, that's such a great point. That was one of the things that, you know, I finally learned after doing this for years is you know, you have to be the squeaky wheel, right? You have to be on amazon's back, but after you do that, like sitting around stressing pulling your hair out does absolutely nothing for you. So you know, take a step back like, okay, so I have this inventory issue, I can't do anything about that. Like you said. Um so rather than stress about that, why don't I go back and like maybe work on my images, like in other words, you know divert that attention, that stress that, you know, I need that feeling of, I need to do something, I need to get something done and channel that into something else To put that energy into because otherwise, like you said, you just sit around and stew like, you know, like I said, I, I literally punched a hole in my wall once. Uh this was way back in the day, you know, during Q4 when there was literally no way to get rid of hijackers and we had a Chinese hijacker come in and um pretty much Hijack Our entire catalog like 400 skews For almost the entire, you know, you're talking about net probably 300 grand worth of profit. Um you know, I think it was back in like 2013, 14 somewhere around then And there's nothing I could do. I mean, I was on the phone every day to like 10 different people and they're just like, yeah, sorry. You know, like you have to do the test order, you know, this is back, when do you remember the whole test order thing? And you know, it would take like from china like two months and they would send you like a key chain instead of the product. Like it [00:23:05] spk_0: was, they were, [00:23:07] spk_1: I mean back then it was like the Wild west and it was so, so hard uh to, you know, to get anything done. But you know, like you said, those were back then it was like, there were so many hard knocks that it was just like by the end of steel, there's not very much on amazon now that people can be like, hey, I, you know, ran into this, how can I fix it? I'm like, oh you do this, this and this. I've done this like 10 times by now, you know? So um, yeah, I think that the most successful people in e commerce, not only on amazon but in general are the ones who are just willing to Take that stress push through it, get to the next spot because 80% of the people are like, oh this sucks and throw up their hand and they're done right? So [00:23:45] spk_0: It's kind of a motivating thing, isn't it? It's like just knowing that if you persevere and you stick through, you're going to be like, you know, one of those two out of 10 people who actually makes it. And so that kind of drives you like, see the bumps in the road is like toughening you up and getting you ready for the long journey. And I think in flying we do it all the time, [00:24:01] spk_1: right? Like if our engine [00:24:02] spk_0: is on fire, we'll notice the engine is on fire. So we notice the issue, but then our energies spent on fixing the issue and not on the problem. Like we forget that there's an engine fire because we're just working our checklist and I think we try to apply that now to the amazon business. That's a metaphor. I the only one that's [00:24:24] spk_1: actually an excellent analogy. Uh, you know, the whole checklist in an aircraft, what was it? Bc gump. Is that the acronym? I think I still remember it, but that was what they taught us in school. But anyway, um, uh, yeah, it's uh, that was another thing, You know, I was trying to share my failures so other people don't have to, is systems and processes and knowing your numbers. I mean those are some of the basic things that I didn't have when I started and if I would have known that back then, I mean I could have scaled probably too, you know, an 89, you know, who knows? I mean, I could have just scaled to infinity if I knew some of those things back then, but you know, back then I was a computer guy and an aviation guy and you know, e commerce was just like, hey, I can put stuff on amazon, it sells like crazy, you know, and that was kind of the basics, right? So those are, are some of the things that I would really implore people to know your numbers build systems, even if it's just in a google doc and you're sitting down one day and you're doing like merchant fulfilled, just write down your process because then when you do scale, you can hand that off, not only that, but just inconsistency, right? If anybody hasn't seen the Mcdonald's um, documentary on youtube, I forget the name of it. Um, as systems go, it's fascinating to see that, you know, a guy came in pretty much just took the business over, saw the systems in place and just doubled down and just kept making the systems better and better. Mcdonald's hamburger is crap. I don't eat fast food, but I used to, but I still am uh floored at that those systems in place, right? The consistency, the, you do it this time every time and then the customer knows what to expect. I think it, it can translate easily into this. So I love that. All right guys. So one of the things that we love to do and in this business you have to do is always, you know, continue to learn anything that you guys are into right now in terms of, you know, personal personal development was late for me. But to me that's one of the first things you can start on, you should start on any, any kind of motivational things. You're doing, any podcast, books, anything that's really kind of changed your perspective or made a big impact in your life or in your business. [00:26:31] spk_0: Oh, that's a good question. Yeah, I'm just starting to get back into it. But you know, doing mindfulness practice and you know, some meditation the evening using, you know, there's several apps available now. Um I use one called mindspace and it's, you know, because you know, my lab, I'm in the lab all day, my brain is going, it's analytical and then when I get home it's just amazon amazon amazon, so it never stops. And I just to remind yourself to take even just five or 10 minutes out of the day, um and just, you know, just take some time to turn your brain off and just calm down, calm the storm. Um I think that's been really helpful. Um and then the second thing that I that I like to do is, you know, there's so kind of in the same thing, there's a lot of voices, not only in your heads, but in the amazon world too. And I love to just, I guess we love to find the, you know, just the five or six voices that we like to listen to, that we really trust. And just, you know, when they put out new content, you know, listen to it, to take the learnings. Um but just kind of tune out all the other noise because you just find the people you trust. And uh for me, on a personal level, I mean I love reading. So there's a couple of books that I always like to pick up. A really good one is atomic habits. Atomic habits. Um and that's just one is talking about habits and you know, what's the basis behind it make something that you hate doing associated with, Something that you love. So for example, if you love going on facebook in the morning and checking the news feeds and tell yourself you gotta do 10 pushups before you're allowed to do that and all the 10 pushups becomes so much easier because there's an instant reward after um, stuff like that. I think I've done so much like readings about, you know, self development and all that stuff, but what this last year and a half has a year and a half has allowed me to do was actually to implement it and to really see how much work is required on yourself. Right? So we can all read about staying calm and not having fights and then you know, Ryan, I will burst at each other have a massive flying like, hey, I thought we're both supposed to be calm and mindful. Right? So the business has allowed us to put all the theory into practice a bit, which has been fun and then what we like to do is we like to reflect on it, give brief it a bit, talked it out and try to learn from it and always celebrate the winds no matter how small, you know, like we fire up the barbecue. Sorry Dave fires up his massive barbecue, we cook some burgers and put on some music and just celebrate, you know, every little wind, every little launch, every victory. [00:28:55] spk_1: I love it. Fantastic. All right. So the other thing that's the most important question of the podcast is how do you say take off hoser in german [00:29:05] spk_0: take off. I [00:29:09] spk_1: didn't realize you guys were Canadians. Sorry, I had to throw that out there. You know, I went to college in North Dakota so we'd always cross over into Winnipeg's. [00:29:16] spk_0: All right guys, thank you so [00:29:21] spk_1: much for being on. How can people get a hold of you guys? Anything you guys want to plug? Please let people know uh, you know what you guys are up to next. [00:29:30] spk_0: Yeah. So I mean we're always trying to figure out what's the next thing that we're doing right now, what we like to do is connect with people that are also selling and we actually share all of the excel sheets that we use for our business. Like we said, we built all our excel sheets with the intent of maybe selling them one day. We did that just to make sure that they're better. Um, and we're actually selling them. You guys can find us on facebook. We have a group called the van dog group and it's super small. I think Amy was the second person in it. Uh, celebrate. [00:29:57] spk_1: We celebrated. That was awesome. I love it. [00:30:00] spk_0: It's fun. It's a small group right? And our main goal now is we're going to scale the business, We're going to exit it next year and then we're gonna focus more on, you know, maybe doing another brand or just focusing maybe on helping other people do the same thing that we did and I'm going to buy an airport. [00:30:15] spk_1: I love it. Absolutely love it. An airport or just one of those houses where you can like, it's like a community airstrip that you can like lay in and pull into your garage [00:30:23] spk_0: right now. I'm actually gonna buy the airport. So actually like everyone's laughing, but I tell them, but I'm actually [00:30:28] spk_1: doing it. I can't wait. [00:30:29] spk_0: I love it. It's awesome. It's near my hometown in Montreal and I want to take a look at it in august and it's awesome. I just need the business to keep working the way it's working. I got to get the right timing for the sale and then I'm gonna buy that airport. So already put in a little offer and I'm super excited. My wife gets to move home and I get to, that would be a dream come true with a little like by his airport. [00:30:51] spk_1: I absolutely love it. You know, it's, it's like uh Gary v saying, you know, he's going to buy the jets. I love it. If you don't have that audacious goal, you'll never get to it right. So absolutely [00:31:01] spk_0: gotta dream big because it's such a rough road to get there. But that airport keeps him so motivated. [00:31:06] spk_1: That's awesome. I love that so much. Hey guys, it was really nice meeting you. Thank you so much for being on. Really appreciate it. We'll see you guys again. Hopefully sometime soon in the near future. So we can get some updates on what you guys are up to. Thank you so much for being on. [00:31:18] spk_0: All right, thanks [00:31:19] spk_1: and the thanks so much guys. Yeah. All right guys. And if you have not done so yet, please rate review. Subscriber really appreciate when you guys do that, share it with friends. If you think they're gonna get some value out of this guys. And as usual we do this live Tuesday one PM pacific time. So a round table dot com forward slash live join us. You can be in the zoom meeting. Um, so you can ask David Ryan, like we're going to stop the recording, stop the broadcast and you guys get some behind the scenes if you join us live. So we'll see you guys next time on the seller roundtable. Thanks so much. [00:31:50] spk_0: Thanks for tuning in, join us every Tuesday at one PM pacific standard time for live Q and A. And bonus content after the recording at cellar round table dot com, sponsored by the ultimate software tool for amazon sales and growth seller. S C O dot com and amazing at home dot com.

32mins

3 Jan 2022

Rank #6

Podcast cover

Learn Chatbot from the Expert - Amazon Marketing Tips with Paul Baron - Part 2

Things we discussed in this session:A. Part 1B. Part 2Things we mention in this session of Seller Round Table:Join us every Tuesday at 1:00 PM PST for Live Q&A and Bonus Content at  https://sellerroundtable.comTry the greatest Amazon seller tools on the planet free for 30 days at https://sellerseo.com/Transcription in this episode:[00:00:01] spk_2: welcome to the seller roundtable e commerce coaching [00:00:04] spk_1: and business strategies with and er not and amy Wiis, there's so much that we can do to connect with customers and not cause any reason for them to see our brand in it in a negative light or you know when I see inserts like that, it just makes me want to just rip them up and throw them in the garbage. Like really, that's the effort that you put into that. Like it's just it's frustrating. But yeah, I have fallen for a lot of inserts. What makes me angry though is if you put something in an insert you don't deliver. So there's a lot of register for warranty, right? And you get or register to win something or whatever and you get zero response. Like I just bought one of these really cool um self cleaning water bottles or you push the button and it sends an led light through the water bottle. Everything. Well I dropped the cap and it will not, it does not work now, right? And they have on their packaging, the packaging is great, which is another place where you can put really great information and ways to contact you and all of that. Um And so I contact them because they've got all their social media on there and stuff, contacted them on three different social media channels because I'm trying not to just like leave a bad review and be the customer that I don't want. Right, No response. zero response. Right? So you know, that's that's it's important not just to set it up, but also to have a plan to use it with music. [00:01:32] spk_0: 100%. I mean, Yeah, I mean with that it's really just as simple as setting up an alert so that you're notified when something happens, like it's really easy. Like [00:01:44] spk_1: it's And speaking of that, how do you measure the R. O. I. Of setting up something like that, setting up a chat but funnel or or an insert funnel. How do you measure the ri besides, obviously, let's set up alerts to make sure that it's working and that people are engaging with it and we can measure it in some way. But how do we measure that? [00:02:04] spk_0: Patrick started tracking. It depends on the objective. So each objective you measure against that objective. So if your objective is uh say you're doing a product or you're wanting to cross sell our product launch, right? So you have a whole bunch of inserts selling uh you buy this product and if you want to move it for sure, just say you love this, get this for free like that that are away right there. So you measure that. How many redemptions are you getting or how many takes on whatever offers. That's why measures I measure ry top level and there's various, you know our way all the way down through the bottom. But initial initial thing, what I look is what's the take, right? The take on the offer. So if the offer is subscribe, That's that's my call to action, how many people are subscribing? And if they're not subscribing, then I start looking at, okay, great. This is again, and the reason why I love referencing this is because there's four things in GoPro, right? Most of the time, people aren't registering their purchase or they're not going through your thing because frankly they couldn't give two shits and it doesn't make them, it doesn't compel them to take action because it's not good enough for them. Now this I went through this and I registered and I subscribed because there's four really good things here that are immediate benefits that I can get right away. Um, so measuring R. O. I in that sense would be, again if it would be subscriptions. If you're looking at reviews and you would want to measure against review, like how many people are leaving reviews, If you're looking at, um, you know, building out your influencer tear, then there's various level or influencer tier team, um, uh, influencer team or, or brand ambassador team or whatever. Uh then I measure Ry based on how many new people we initially sign up. That's the first level of our lie. The second is how many people actually return a contract? That's a 2nd. 3rd is then how many people are actually giving us UGC user generated content and how quickly are they giving us user generated content because if they sign up and they return the contract, but they don't actually give us UGC then there's, there's actually not that we turn now to return and so there's something that I have to change. And so every step of the funnel you need to look and analyze. Okay, where's the fall off here? Right? So the fall off in a insert, first fall off would be you don't have anybody even clicking the link. Right? So you don't have any people even visiting the link. Then I would look at the insert itself and I would say two things. One, what does the design look like? What does the packaging look like? What does the brand like? How professional is the brand in general? Because if it looks jinky af like and it looks like you're gonna get spammed. You got a bit lee Lincoln and hotmail email address. Like no, I'm not registering my purchase, but if you have a branded domain and a short link with your domain, Then that would be so that would be 11 step and then fixing all of that. Anyway, I could go on and on and on and on and you [00:05:12] spk_2: get, you can cost as much as you want. We can we carry the expletive flag on every episode default because I cost so much and you know, my potty mouth. So [00:05:21] spk_1: you already, yeah. As I said, we already established, we can't take Andy anywhere. It's [00:05:31] spk_2: true [00:05:32] spk_1: where [00:05:33] spk_2: it is a badge of honor. [00:05:34] spk_0: Yeah. Well, you know, Yeah, I uh [00:05:38] spk_1: we're like the were like the devil in the angel on your shoulder right now, I [00:05:42] spk_0: got the my internal my job is that internal salesperson, If you've ever worked with salespeople or internal sales specifically, um if you don't know how to cost, you will learn very, very quickly. And so now I'm now I feel like a fucking sailor. So [00:06:00] spk_2: beauty. [00:06:02] spk_1: We got the first f word out of the way. Okay. Um what my next question for you Speaking of um F words, what is what are some of the most creative ways you have ever seen? Somebody use messenger or chatbots? Give me something that's just like super creative and fun. You're like, oh my gosh, you're obsessed over that because they [00:06:26] spk_0: were super creative. It was not a question I was prepared for. Amy. That's a great question. Um [00:06:34] spk_1: Andy and I are not good at preparing before podcast. [00:06:38] spk_0: A lot of man, I have to think through. Is it bad that all the examples I'm thinking of her mind, like that's really give [00:06:50] spk_1: us one of your give us your secret sauce. What's the one thing most creative one? Well, because I love what you do is you encourage your people instead of just getting them to claim a deal, which is like what everyone does. Like give away a free product. Okay, instead of doing that, you creatively get people to actually spread the word about your product that you turned your products into and your products are not like they're not necessarily purple couch, right? But they're really great products in the way that you market them and your care tags on your products are hilarious, but you know the way that you market them in the way that you get other people to actually market them for you? To me that's super [00:07:40] spk_0: creative, some creative things that we've done um partnering with other brands and actually leveraging their audience to build our audience in messengers. So uh instagram, there's a thing called a follow loop, which I'm not sure if you're familiar with that, but generally speaking what those are as it's a giveaway loop where you join a group of other people, let's say five other brands. Um There's a lot of ways that you can do this wrong and if you ever get approached by somebody like join our group, it's only $500 to join and there's 500 people that don't do that because it's not worth it. But if you actually like in your in your neighbor, your niche neighborhood, right? So um you know, we sell, we sell baby products, so then we would go to other baby brands that aren't complimentary, but not not competing. Um We will run ads and then I'll even set up the final the messenger for them and have it all go through and then they click a button that goes from one messenger to another to another to another. So that's really creative um follow lupin instagram is like you follow this person and then you go follow this person, then you go follow this person and then you get entered into the giveaway. So it's essentially that in messenger and you have to go through all the messenger things in order to be entered into the giveaway. So that's one thing that's really cool. Another thing that we've done this is very complex, but also incredibly cool is we have a call the calendar launch system and essentially what we do is we, it is a pre launch and I mean, how many people in amazon space talk about pre launch? Nobody like you say with a pre launch me, like what do you mean? It's a pre launch? Um so prelaunch, it's designed to help fill your funnel before you start launching. So that when you are actively selling, you know that the sales are going to come in. So calendar launch is very, the Conceptually, it's very like, OK, here's we have 500 units available during this two week span Um 250, 1st week, 150 next week, whatever you allow people to go through and pick which week and then which day they signed up for a day? Then they get alerted when that day comes and it's all dynamic across everything, like There's $500, 300 and so everybody's saying constantly, there's decreasing amount so that um what that does then we send them an alert the day before the day of uh so like the day before is hey your discounts coming up tomorrow, you gotta use tomorrow, it's gone uh nine a.m. Hey your discount is today, you gotta purchase today if you don't it's gone and if they don't come back and say they bought then we remind them at five. Another thing that I like that is I don't see many people doing is um social sharing uh like rewarding like almost like affiliate type tracking where you can reward people for sharing a link or sharing your messenger to their friends thereby they're growing your list for you essentially. Um Other things that I see that super core um customization and images so you can actually um there's a there's a couple different programs that we use that we can actually put your name on an image like and it shows up or the customer's name and its dynamic, you can put anything there. So that's where we do like the this is how many is left with that number is dynamically done. Um That's another way that we do search find by two is all dynamic calls um with dynamic images. So uh yeah that's awesome. That's [00:11:06] spk_1: a lot. It's a lot and it's it's really, it's really great that you're talking about pre launch, I think pre launch is so important, you can do it in so many ways, you can do it on the streets, you can do it with other brands, you know that you can do it a local market online, you can run a Pinterest ad with your product and start leading them to a landing page. Get them excited about it. There's just, there's so many different things that you can do and I love how you mentioned working with other brands. I think that can be huge. And sometimes if you can be that leader for another brand, gets them more excited about working with you because a lot of these smaller micro brands, they're also struggling. They're also trying to figure out more ways to generate traffic. So why not set up some collaboration to work together. [00:11:53] spk_0: Exactly. And now the cool thing about this, as I mentioned, the follow ups on instagram, we used to do all these partnerships with instagram brands and everything. All the automation was a Messenger. Now we have automation and Messenger almost the exact there are some small limitations. There's not a direct 1 to 1 between Messenger. If you're familiar with chat bots on Messenger, but um the possibilities for marketing are continuing to grow and I really believe that chat marketing is the future. It is, it is not the channel, it is a channel, it is a is going to be a huge channel and it's not and it's not, it's like Messenger is chat marketing and instagram and WhatsApp and SmS and all of these things, they all fall into the roof of chat marketing. [00:12:45] spk_1: Yeah Snapchat, you know, there's even Tiktok, you know, there's, you know, when you think about a video and the common feed that you have like there's so many places where you can lead into a chat pot, there's so much you can do, you can lead them to your website and then start a chat about their, you can do your own. There's so much, I think a lot of people where they get scared is the problems that we've had with facebook chat lately. And so speaking of problems, what are some of the pitfalls of chat marketing that people need to be aware of? [00:13:24] spk_0: I mean really the biggest, the biggest ones are not following terms of service and it's not because you're intentionally trying to break them. It's just because you're ignorant of what the rules are. And um I think that is that is the number one of the biggest pitfall over using chat is that you, especially if you're an amazon seller, you have to understand that there are ah facebook rules, there's facebook advertising rules, there's facebook Messenger rules, it's because a lot of rules, there's instagram rules, there's instagram direct rules. There's amazon rules all these our terms of service, right and all that to us. And if you violate any of the T. N. T. O. S anywhere along the line, that particular account could get suspended. And even if you don't violate to us you could still get suspended and so understanding what you can do and what could get you in trouble it kind of takes I mean you can ask me but I mean I've been doing this for Now, what is it uh four years 2016 now so no five five years now with chat and so technically I'm a dinosaur and an expert whatever. But uh yeah it's just breaking rules when you inadvertently don't know that you're breaking them or not understanding what the algorithm is doing today and and knowing that even though facebook says you can uh good case in point I have a very good friend who runs the most amazing course on organic engagement for facebook groups. Um She's incredible and she had a weapon, she hired us to do a webinar reminder for her. People sign up for the webinar. There was a pop up that said would you like to be reminded in Messenger that was the call to action would you? Very explicit. And the only reason why people tap that is if they wanted to be reminded in Messenger. So we use the confirmed event reminder tag which is basically something that you you know the person signing up says I give this page permission to remind me about this event You know past 24 hours. The biggest rule is you have 24 hours to interact with anybody, You can't you can't go back to them like 25 hours later. Um and so people are misapplying tags like post purchase um update is a big one. People are using that tag to get reviews. That is not an update. That's a question and update is your order his ship. That's an update. And so people are misapplying that tag because they just don't understand what it means. Or in this instance we're doing the confirmed event reminder. Every single person, 100% of them came into the funnel because they wanted to be reminded. But facebook's algorithm is on overdrive and this was back during the election last year and so it gave her wrist slap we were using we were following the rules and so not understanding what what to do when you get slapped, even when you're following the rules, I see those as pitfalls to, I'm making this sound really scary and I'm sorry. [00:16:28] spk_1: Yeah. So speaking of that, I think that because of the scary things and it's the same thing on amazon right here. All the scary things and people then get afraid even to make an insert or to make packaging, it's like they are afraid to build a brand because there's so much that happens, right? And there's so much banter, it's like what's going on with Covid right now, all the banter people are just speaking out of fear instead of just having a conversation and researching themselves, right? So no matter what, you know, it's a trigger for Andy facebook banning because he's been off, he's been like we could do a whole episode about that and we have but anyway, so you know, this is my next question and it's kind of like three questions in one. It is it is that like let's say I'm a new brand and I'm just getting started a great product. I've got my website up. You know, I'm just I'm there right, I made it on amazon and I'm I'm starting to think, hey, maybe maybe I could grow a little bit. Maybe I could do some of this, but paul's talking about all this chap on stuff and it sounds so scary and I don't have time to read all of facebook's 4000 pages of policies and I've heard all these things online. So basically if you're a new brand and you have to pick a channel and you have to get started with this type of marketing started with marketing off of amazon, start with, you know, maybe chat about marketing. Um all of that, what do you suggest? Where do they start? So that they can start gaining some experience without completely, [00:18:12] spk_0: you know, just being overwhelmed. I actually wouldn't start with chatbots. Um and the reason for that is that um you know, I would want you to do more research for us to understand what the rules are before you get into chatbots or contact me whatever. Um, and I could answer your questions about the rules and if you want to do it yourself, I'm awesome. Um, but I would actually just do a very simple this, so this GoPro insert and there it is over there. It just takes to do a landing page on their website and fill out a form. So you can use type form and have a nice professional looking for him hosted on your website or hosted on type form site. If you don't want to cite If you're using helium 10, you can do helium 10 portals And helium 10 portals is a landing page builder where it's designed specifically to collect email addresses. So here you're collecting emails. The whole point is you need your building an asset. Okay. The way that I look at it is an email addresses. One asset a phone number, subscription is another asset. A chat bot subscription is another asset and I want all the assets. I want everything. And so that's why I use chat bus because inside a chat, I understand the rules and I can get a subscriber for chat. I can get a subscriber for smS and I can get a subscriber for email all in one flow and it's now I can actually using deep links, um, or uplink depending on what do you want to call them? A deep link is basically, it looks on your phone or your device to determine whether or not you have an app installed. It will open that app if you do so if you have messenger installed it will open Messenger. Otherwise it will, it will go to a landing page. Um You asked Simple and I made it complex. I'm sorry landing page Helium 10 portals and Helium 10 portals has inserts that you can go to and use Like I actually gave them one of the inserts that we was a part of a $10,000 branding package that we did And like we depreciated that insert so I gave it to helium 10. They made a template out of it modified it and it's available on the number one featured thing. This is Paul Barons $10,000 insert. So you can use helium tend to print and insert. You can use helium tend to build a QR code and then you can have that QR code. Go to a landing page that you built and set up in helium 10. It's very simple. And then from there you start capturing email addresses. Now to your point amy earlier you want to make sure that you have some sort of strategy for what you're going to do after you start collecting email addresses. But don't let not having a strategy stop you from starting start and then make sure that you start figure out what you're gonna do quickly. It's bare minimum just reply to your flipping customers. If they have a question, like it's not that hard. Um But from there then if you wanted to start getting into and learning more about email nurture sequences and follow up sequences within emails. That same concept with an email, you can very easily adapt that concept to chat. And instead of long form copy, it's just very short conversational, you know, in an email, you do a long paragraph blah blah blah and chat, it's just like a couple of questions and then the next thing and then you tap a button and the next thing and so that's where I would start. Um If you do want to start with with chat marketing many chat itself has a very good free course that you can go into and I know all the people that put the course together at many chat, they're amazing marketers. Um I have a course that is not live now, we're re homing it, but I have a course on chat marketing. Um So if you wanted to learn that you could go here, I mean, Michelle Barnum smith does she still have a course? I think she does. She's pushing like she was easy, but now and so easy, bad, easy, bad, easy. But it was designed to layer on top of many chat to make building many chat easier, so you could look into that. Um But my point is that many chat is a good starting point. It has a lot of great, very simple to use templates, I would say to start experimenting, figure out what it does. Then ask questions like go to the community, go to the many Czech community, go to go to my community, go to Amy's Community, go to Michelle's Community. I mean there's no shortage of experts that you can talk to and and ask questions too. So did that answer? That was a long winded [00:22:27] spk_2: head now, That's perfect. Yeah, and I love that, that's one of my biggest complaints thus far with the whole chat pot or marketing thing is not owning the audience right? To hate not owning my audience. And just like Amy said because I've been banned from facebook, like I think I'm on my third time now um which in a in a way it was a blessing for me because it pushed me into Lincoln and I'm growing a huge audience there in Lincoln. But um to your point though, if you diversify those channels, then you don't have to be so reliant on one platform, right? So if you're doing facebook instagram, you know, all these other uh you know, I love SmS just because you own it. I hate as a customer getting SMS messenger messages though, uh kind of like in the beginning of Messenger when it wasn't as kind of regulated. I feel like that's kind of where SMS marketing is right now um you know, but I I completely agree and that's a great point where, you know, if you diversify, you need to own some of your audience. So I love that um one of the things that I'm always super into is machine learning ai and in terms of bots that's gonna, you know, it's a game changer. So can you, you know, how do you see a i how do you see uh this machine learning um you know, natural speak, how is that going to change uh you know, chat marketing moving forward [00:23:46] spk_0: right now, it's a little it's a little clunky. Um and in order to make a I work for you, you have to have a lot of money because it's not a very good solution for for the basic, normal everyday user. But that now all that being said, you know VR back in it what when we were kids, you know, it was this giant headset that was like this big And it was like a little it was like tron first tron like that, right? And it was really prohibitive. But now look at the air now Oculus is $450 or something. I don't know what it's becoming a lot more ubiquitous and that's really all that is going to happen. And so NLP technology, natural language processing, not neuro linguistic programming, not Tony Robbins. NLP natural language processing is continuing to get better and better and better and better and better. And so where I see the first iteration coming would just be simple sentiment analysis? So sentiment analysis is looking at a block of text in determining whether or not it's positive or negative or neutral. Um Ai is doing it decent job with that. Um but it can still get tripped up buy things like if you say great and terrible in the same thing, we're like, wait, what the greater is it terrible? Is it fantastic? Is horrible. Um So so it's not perfect yet. But I see that as it gets better and the cool thing about ai as you can train it and that's why it and that's why it is cost prohibitive and that's why it's also very because you have you can't implement without training at first. But the great thing about it is the more traffic you send it, the more you train it, the better it gets. So um first steps I think um would be sentiment analysis. And so how we build funnels now would be Um like a choose your own adventure book back in the 90s. If you've never read those, they're great, you should seriously go to a thrift store and find one because they're funny. Um But it's like you get to the bottom of the page and then you say do this, do this or this and then you go to another page. So really sentiment analysis. The way that we design our stuff is positive, negative, neutral and I generally have a neutral choice, but the neutral choice would be like if you get confused, ask this question sort of thing. So positive. Do you want to register your purchase? You just, you know, it's pretty straightforward, right? Um but I'm seeing it like in that sense, so that instead of people having to tap a button, they just reply the artificial intelligence analyzes sentiment and then directs the amount of positive route or negative route. Right? And so that's really all but or any any type of marketing funnel construction really is positive, negative. Like you might have a neutral path somewhere, but most of the time it's like, do you want to do this? Yes. No. And so building out a boat, you just need to think in terms of that like what's the positive branch because the negative branch and where am I trying to get them to go? So that's the first generation, I think down the road, um probably 10, 20 years. It's gonna be a lot more. Um again, I've used ubiquitous a lot. It's gonna be everywhere. I mean, there is a lot that you can download and if you want to play with an artificial intelligence spot um where is it? I haven't talked to it in a while. It's called replica with a K. And it's just a chat bot that you chat with and and whenever I chat with it, I I specifically try to confuse it just to see what it does, but if you want to see like an artificial bot in action. Um, you can actually chat with replica just to see what it's like. Um, the whole point of replica is too, it's kind of confusing to me. It's that they call the Ai companion, who cares, because it's supposed to be a person who's supposed to care about you and like encourage you, like, you're doing a great job today. I'm like, you're not a real person, [00:27:40] spk_2: You're not angry because you're starting. It took you 20 minutes to get your starbucks drive thru. Right [00:27:47] spk_0: right. So, if you want to see like a I got a replica is a cool thing to test out. [00:27:52] spk_2: Yeah, yeah, I'm a huge fan of AI. So I got early access to GPT three, which is like Elon musk's Ai and I've been playing a lot with that and it is really, really interesting stuff. And as a programmer, you know, the chatbot thing for me is more if then else kind of statements, you know, if anybody listening is into to [00:28:09] spk_0: that. Yeah, it's conditional, you know. [00:28:13] spk_2: Exactly, exactly. So when you break it down to those kind of, you know, when you back up and look at it like that, then, you know, it might be a little bit easier for some uh, to look at it, you know, like that. So, uh, that's that's super interesting. All right, we're getting a little long on time here, which uh, we could probably, I could probably easily talk another hour. This is so interesting. I love like I said, you know, doing the chat pod thing has always been, you know, uh something for me back in the day. It was just fun, you know, it was like these, it was not nearly as smart back then though. Right? So it was like you could only pick certain keywords and then and then have replies. Right? That that was about it. So it's pretty interesting, you know, where there's actually flows now. But that being said, what you already mentioned if you like manny chat, what are some of your favorite tools um in the space in terms of, you know, getting some really powerful marketing um when it comes to chat messaging, [00:29:02] spk_0: um many chat hands down. Um you're never going to find it perfect solution. Many chat does, it still has its kinks and whatever. Um people asking me if I ever use chat fuel or chat fire like all these other ones and like honestly it's but like learning a whole new toolkit and I don't really care to do that and um many chat is really fantastic for that now, the tools that I use that integrate with many chat. So, again, so in my billion dollar seller summit speech um what I did, again, a part of the example was I had them sign up giving their email and then immediately deliver my slides via email. I didn't need to deliver them an email, I could have delivered them right in chat, but the reason why I delivered them in emails because I wanted people to see that, it was like, oh that's really cool. So like that sort of thing. Um we use Claudio or Claudio. Um I have always called Clavijo but they're supports this claudia and I just think that they can't pronounce things correctly. Um so I use Claudio um for our email integration um and Claudio has some sms capabilities. Many chat has some smS capabilities as well. Um If you only want a message in one country, many thats great. If you want a message multiple countries you can have to go to a different platform. Um What else do I use a lot with chat? Um I mean google sheets, I do a ton of heavy lifting with google sheets, um Integra matt. I prefer Integra matt overs Appier. Um I like the work flow better and it's more affordable. So if you guys aren't familiar with Integra matt or zap, you're basically it automates. So if there's no like native integration, so like many chatted natively integrates into Claudio Claudio. So I can say that when people tap this, add them to this list and then Clavijo when anybody is added to a list, it send them an email. Um so uh basically integral matter ors Appier would bridge that gap. So if that native integration wasn't there, then I would go to Integra Mint in the middle and then Integra Mint then pushes a request or pulls a request depending on what you're saying that you wanted to do. So I love Integra matt. Um, Bochy's is pretty cool as well. Um I'm sure I'm going to have like 25 more at the end of this column, Like I should have mentioned that. [00:31:23] spk_2: Yeah, no, that's good. That's a that's a great place to start [00:31:26] spk_0: Nifty images. Nifty Images is the image customization tool that I use. Um and that can do custom, can't do custom gifts other than a countdown timer. I really wish that it could overlay text on gifts. That would be so cool. Um it doesn't do that, but it does overlay custom text or um yeah, on just a static image and I love that. And the cool thing about that is that I just like to sort of surprise and delight thing, right? Like any time that you can show your customers something like that's cool how they do that, Or that's really cool. I like that. I need to share that any time where you can spark a oh, that's cool. Like do that. [00:32:07] spk_2: Yeah, absolutely. I love that. One of my other favorite ones is gleamed on iO for like contests and and like, you know, having people kinda step through little tasks to get to the carrot, right? So I love, I love that one. Uh Those are all great suggestions paul. Let people know where they can, where they can find you where, where they can reach out to you and and anything that you wanna let people know that you're gonna be doing here shortly, [00:32:30] spk_0: yep. Um You can find me the chat agency dot com chat marketing university dot com. Again, we're re homing. So you will have the landing page for the course and everything, but um the actual delivery is being re homed if you will. Um So yeah, obviously dutch ad agency dot com paul. Baron paul be at the chat agency in, you know, facebook I'm around and I'm doing a bunch of events. Uh I think I'm doing seller rise with Dema, I'll be at your, your thing in november. The seller meet up um festivals in the fall or no december. Carlos is stellar. Cruise in february and then I'm sure I'm missing like four or five other things [00:33:13] spk_2: awesome. I love it for all of you who have not done so yet, please rate review, subscribe to sell a round table, let your friends know if you find any value here. We really appreciate that guys. And uh as usual you can find us here live every Tuesday at one PM pacific time, sell a round table dot com forward slash live. Thank you so much paul for being here and uh amy anything else you want to add? [00:33:38] spk_1: No, I think this has been amazing as usual. And uh yeah, thanks you guys for listening to another episode. I can't wait until next week. [00:33:48] spk_2: All right. We'll see you guys later. [00:33:50] spk_1: Bye bye. Thanks for tuning in, join [00:33:55] spk_0: us every Tuesday at [00:33:56] spk_2: one PM, pacific [00:33:57] spk_1: standard time for live Q and [00:33:58] spk_0: a. And bonus content [00:34:00] spk_1: after the recording at cellar round [00:34:02] spk_2: table dot com, sponsored [00:34:04] spk_1: by the ultimate software tool for amazon [00:34:06] spk_2: sales and growth [00:34:07] spk_1: seller s c o dot [00:34:08] spk_0: com and [00:34:09] spk_1: amazing at home dot com.

34mins

27 Dec 2021

Rank #7

Podcast cover

Learn Chatbot from the Expert - Amazon Marketing Tips with Paul Baron - Part 1

Things we discussed in this session:A. Part 1B. Part 2Things we mention in this session of Seller Round Table:Join us every Tuesday at 1:00 PM PST for Live Q&A and Bonus Content at  https://sellerroundtable.comTry the greatest Amazon seller tools on the planet free for 30 days at https://sellerseo.com/Transcription in this episode:[00:00:01] spk_0: Welcome to the seller [00:00:03] spk_2: roundtable e commerce coaching and business strategies with [00:00:06] spk_0: and er not and amy Wiis, [00:00:10] spk_1: Hey, what's up everybody? This is Andy are not with you and we are super excited of paul Barron on today paul, thank you so much for being on. [00:00:18] spk_0: Absolutely. [00:00:20] spk_1: I, I can't believe this is the first, this is your first appearance, right? [00:00:23] spk_0: I know, I know that I have, we have talked on zoom with Amy. Yes. Like maybe it was just a conversation. [00:00:31] spk_1: Yeah, I think it might, it might have been one of our little special episodes, [00:00:35] spk_0: right? I can't remember. I mean yeah, no, no, this is one of those things like I don't, I don't think we've met in public And the weird thing about Zoom is that you meet someone in public that you've met Zoom, you talked to them on zoom like maybe 30 times and then you meet them and you're like, you don't recognize [00:00:54] spk_1: them. [00:00:55] spk_0: Oh, it's because I've talked to 50 times, [00:00:59] spk_1: right? It reminds me of like today I was at the gym after dropping my kids off and there's this guy, I'm like sitting there the whole time in the gym being like, I've seen this dude before and I can't realize like I can't figure out like where he's from and then I realized he's like from one of our favorite restaurants in town. But it took me like the whole time working out like that's all I can think about. [00:01:17] spk_0: It's really funny. I just realized I had the wrong microphones selected. So if it like sounds weird, let me know, I just changed it to the right one. [00:01:23] spk_1: Well, I mean it might sound extra weird, you [00:01:26] spk_0: know? [00:01:29] spk_1: All right. So what we're going to get down to the nitty gritty AARP. Also what we like to start out with is uh, you know, we, we need your street cred, we love to hear the journey to what, you know, what got you to where you are today in terms of your journey. You know, if you want to share is deep is like, you know where you're born, where you raised kind of any past jobs or just kind of the journey on so where you are today? [00:01:51] spk_0: Yeah, So I got started in e com Really more as a consultant and not really, I wouldn't, not consultant. I was working at an agency back in 2010. So well here let me go for the back. I've always been an entrepreneur now I'm an entrepreneur. When I was younger I was an entrepreneur. Um, I always wanted to start businesses and so I would, I started several like businesses and I say that lightly because you know legally we were in LLC like I registered with the state. So technically speaking, we were a business. Um, but like I did a video production company when I was younger and um, I grew up super poor, like I didn't really have much money and which is one of the reasons why I have braces today. You can't really see that, but you can't afford, you know that sort of stuff. When I was growing up and so I couldn't afford the camera equipment for this videography company. So I was borrowing it was borrowing camera equipment to do wedding videography and I quickly realized that wedding videography is absolutely terrible. Um, so it was one of my businesses and I mean there's a lot of reasons. I mean you could make it work, but yeah, it's, you know, you miss a shot. Like you missed the first kiss and well you can't go, oh sorry, hey guys cut just everybody go back to your marks and all right roll film, okay shoot action. Now you know, you can't do that. So I had a couple incidences where nothing that bad. So I did uh man um, yeah web development, I started a web development agency called barking pineapple with a best friend of mine. And this was because I was like, I feel like I'm good at design and um, there's, you know, there's web design and I remember when you were starting, I was talking to a friend about, about web film. I need to call him up and ask him if he remembers this conversation because it was like the nucleus newbie newbie question that you could ever do. Like it was literally like, so you know, you will quickly explain like how you turn a graphic design into a website. It was like like no big deal like and he was like well yeah you have to learn how to do like coding and stuff, and I was like wait so you mean that you can't just design it and then it turns into a site and I started a company doing a company uh doing web development and we were charging $100 a page um and I was like you know it seems like a good pricing model um ended up leaving that, I was thinking it was 2000 and eight, and um obviously surprisingly we weren't making money weird um and I got hired on at at an agency And 2010 and um there's a whole like cool story around all that and I can get into it if if you guys want later, but it was just like really don't you guys believe in God or anything, but it was a very like I just feel like it was like divine providence, like how everything was set up, it was super cool and um got hired in honor of this agency and um I don't have a four year degree, I went to school actually to be a pastor um in Australia never completed that because I got home, got stuck in America and so I was always just trying to like scrape so all the businesses right? So like the wedding videography business that was post coming home and then the the web development business that was post coming home because I was like I have to do something, no one is going to hire me to do a real job because I don't have a degree and you know I have you know they always say like bachelor's degree required. Um Anyway so I got hired on to this agency and I was a actually hired on as a project manager now amy you are an incredible project manager like S. O. P. Like you're really good at that sort of stuff, like I am terrible. [00:05:35] spk_1: So [00:05:36] spk_0: I'm a I'm a visionary, I'm a I'm like great I'm a salesperson marketing. I'm and that's where I am like a geek out with marketing right? Which is why I do chatbots and influence your stuff now. But back then is you know I was young and figuring out what I did and I they were offering me money and I was like yes I can do that. Uh And I was like so what does a project manager do? I was like I'm a manager, I manage people. I was quickly moved into a sales role and this agency was a web, it was actually web they did web development but they were more of a web marketing and then paid search marketing firm. And so that was where I really cut my teeth in what S. C. O. Was what PPC is what ECM is and all of these things and I I just am a perpetual learner. I'm always learning. I'm always reading um generally a mix of like uh fantasy fiction or fiction and actually, you know, nonfiction, but um always reading and always learning. So because I was selling S. E. O. Services and ECM services, they moved me out of the project management role in like, like two months because it was terrible, but I'm really good at sales. So a salesperson um over my course of time there, I became the director of channel sales, which is kind of like a brand partner manager sort of thing, and was fired I think in the december 20 12, I think it was. And you know, at that point in my life I had just gotten just gotten married Um two years earlier. And um you know, I feel like all everything that I was trying to do up until that point in my life was just cut short. Like I wanted to go to school to be a pastor, that was cut short, I couldn't go back to school, that was cut short. I got a job and I was trying to succeed and that was cut short and I just felt like I just absolutely immense failure. And there's a difference between failing which is essential to success in identifying yourself as a failure. Like, like deep down in your soul, like you intrinsically believe there's something thought about you and that you are a failure. And it took me a really long time in counseling and all sorts of stuff to get through that. But because of my work at this agency, a lot of our clients for really local small businesses and it was like, we're worldwide nationwide. But in my city I would always go to the chamber events and go to the networking events for like young professionals and all sorts of things. So people knew me as the guy to talk to when you had questions about S. E. O. And questions about search marketing and digital marketing, because today now where I'm at speaking on stages and everything, that's just how I am, I want to help people. And so the thing that would always pissed me off is that with S. C. O. And SCM, there's so much like voodoo magic, there's a lot of room for people. They throw acronyms around and they sound like they know what they're talking about and they take advantage of people. And so I had built a reputation in the community is somebody with integrity that wants to help people. And so um in that two year interim, I was like, okay, we'll start another web development company. So I started catalyst media group in 2014, the same year that our son was born, bo was born and you know, started starting a company when you have a brand new baby. And that one was actually moderately successful, meaning that we were actually making money. Um I think your best month was like $9,000 or something. So it wasn't like for me that was huge because it was the most money I'd made him in business at that time, um but it was enough to pay the bill, so I was working nights as a waiter, so fast forward to March of 2015, and we had seen advertisements for a sm and so my background again in digital marketing and helping other brands grow in search engine optimization, like for those of you guys that don't know, Sm was one of the original courses on selling on amazon. My background in up to this point was working with brands, helping them develop themselves and market themselves and so, um I always took it from a brand approach, so when we developed our products, we were looking in areas that we had passionate, so baby products because we had at that point in eight months old, and so that was kind of the genesis of our selling on amazon and ever since then, um it seems like, I mean it is a lot of hard work and the hard work pays off, but it just almost feels like accidental success, like we got in, we got under the Rachel ray show somehow, we got in through some pr efforts and in year two and we continue to win awards for our brand in our, in our products and, and one thing after another, and a lot of what I have done that has helped us become successful in our business, you know, leveraging, influencers, leveraging, grassroots pr leveraging chat marketing. Um I began starting to teach, I began, I started to teach chat marketing specifically back in 2018 and we actually had the very first ever course on chat marketing. Um we even be Ezra Firestone a market like anybody, any course that you see now, like we were actually first um we developed basically every strategy for amazon sellers. That strategy is still used to this day. Um so anybody that teaches this is like most of the time they learned from us, which is cool. Um and last year I transitioned into doing services uh you know, with the chat agencies. So I've got my hands on a lot of fingers in a lot of bowls or whatever. Um but yeah, getting started on amazon it was, we had a problem and we didn't take the normal, I mean we took the product research and everything, but we looked at the problems that we had and um you know, we developed a line of reusable swim diapers that are adjustable to fit kids from birth through three years, listening to our audience, we decided to start developing largest sizes and um now we have sizes up through adult that are still adjustable because of demand and listening to them and like modifying our stuff and um you know, we have rash guards and we're developing swim hats and uh, last night I got an email from a distributor in Mexico that works with Mexico's largest retailer that found us. He had Basically, he's letting go there, the brand that was like the brand that established, we used to swim diapers back in the 1980s. They have a retail footprint worldwide there huge brand and he's dropping them and asking if he could pick us up because of the fact that we built a premium brand and he feels like they're brand direction is going less than premium. So, um, yeah, so that's where I am today and it was really kind of all over the place. I don't know if that necessarily answer your question, but um, I don't know uh just an entrepreneur at heart and problem solver really, [00:12:31] spk_1: I love that, I love that, that back story and that's why we asked this because I feel like, you know, a lot of people kind of, you know, I've heard of people in the amazon space, but don't kind of know the whole story, you know, their whole journey and I think that's uh really important for people to know because there's so much still to this day, there's still people who think that you can, you know, spend five grand jump on amazon and then get your Lambo like six months later, right? But they don't realize majority of the people, you know, they might not have been amazon might not have been their first business, but they've been doing stuff for a long, long time and had had a lot of failure a lot of roadblocks and kind of had to find their way. So I love that, you know, that's one of the reasons why I love um you know, kind of getting that that back story. So that's that's fantastic. Um you might be old enough to remember. So I always I always laughed about chatbots because I was like, yeah, I was doing chatbots when I was 19 years old in college about 20 date myself, like 24 years ago. There was a thing called I. C. Q. And there were like the rudimentary chatbots back then where I was using it to affiliate to um kind of spam back then, you know, it wasn't really jackpots were so new that there wasn't even like rules against that. But like, you know, message people would be like, hey, do you want high speed internet click this link, you know, so it's so cool to see uh that that technology and how, you know, it's kind of like VR was has been around for years. But the progression to where it's finally at the point where it's usable, it's cool, it's, you know, it's more mainstream now. Uh So that's so that's awesome. Speaking of chatbots, let's kind of get into the nitty gritty for people who are listening to have met, you know, I've heard the term chatbots or, or you know, um chat marketing, things like that. Can you kind of give a basic kind of overview of what that is and you know, maybe how somebody could get started with that just from the basic, [00:14:16] spk_0: I mean, so chatbots are in a nutshell, I mean, so you kind of have like a couple families of chatbots really. So in a nutshell is just automating chat, right? So that goes without saying, but most of the time people think of chatbots or at least when outside of the amazon space or even like people that are new to chat bots, they think of a chatbot as like, uh, you know, uh, incredible chat widget on website that helps with customer service, which that is a chat bot. Um and when I talk about chatbots, I mean we build those. Um but I really focus on chat marketing automation, which is also a chat bot and most of the time, I actually don't say chatbots, I don't externally to our audience that we're building, I don't use the term bought because it has a very negative connotation, especially in pertaining to Starting with 2016 with all the election scandals and all that sort of stuff. Right? So take accounts, but accounts and being that the majority of the time these chatbots that were building live on facebook messenger. Um now we're building them on instagram direct and in WhatsApp, we have that capability now, which is WhatsApp is brand new, it's in beta. Um, it's been in beta for a while now. It's an open beta um where I think you make might be still invite, I'm not sure, but instagram is open for anybody. So chat marketing automation is basically a series of predefined messages that you write, you determine as a marketer, um, you know where you want people to go, So say cheap internet, um, you want to get cheap internet? Yes, no, they say yes, taking a cheap internet, they say no, okay, cool. Have a great day. I mean it can be very simple or it could be very complex where you're baking in conditional logic. So conditional logic would be something like if so like a good case in point. I just got done speaking at the billion dollars dollar summit and I talked about influencers and how we build our team of influencers with chat marketing and how now, like when we were doing that originally, we had several iterations, but for the longest time we were using messenger as a channel, which is a little bit sticky because most of our influencers are on instagram. So we had some fall off because of that transition, even though instagram and facebook are, you know owned by the same company, it's very distinct brands and you find people that love instagram and hate facebook, which is, you know, whatever. So I was talking about instagram direct and, and I always deliver in my slides or when I deliver my slides, I always have to go through a chat bot, especially when talking about chatbots because um if people haven't gone through and I kind of wanted to be like, here's what it looks like, this is how easy it is. So what I did was a very simple conditional logic where I just asked people if they were a service provider aggregator or seller and um, you know, three choices or both actually it was a service provider aggregator cellar or both. And then I had baked in later on in the flow that if they were a service provider or an aggregator, you know, something like a soft pitch, like okay, awesome. You know, this is great for your just imagine using this for your clients and we love partnering with aggregator. So if you ever have any questions just let me know. So that little snippet right there, it was a very simple flow, it was like handful of steps. I got an email just to deliver the slides through email and then I had a question on whether or not they were seller and then I had later on based on the response to the earlier question, I provided different content for them. And so that one of the power, there's so much power behind chat. Um, but I specifically like the like contextual ization and the ability to deliver information to people when and how and where they choose to receive that information. Um if you've been in the space for a long time, you might hear people talking chatbots are dead. Don't use them. They're terrible. You're going to, you know, if you send traffic to amazon what the chat bot many chat, you're going to, you know, it's going to hurt your listing and quite frankly, that's not true. And the people that are saying that don't know what they're talking about, um it's [00:18:26] spk_1: like what people say to us [00:18:28] spk_0: about google [00:18:28] spk_1: ads, they say if you use google ads, it's gonna destroy your ranking and everything and you don't want to send traffic directly to your listing. And it's like, okay, well we've been doing it for years. So. [00:18:42] spk_0: Exactly. I mean, it'd be like, would be like somebody going to a builder and say why are you building a house that doesn't work if you've never built a house and you try to build a house from scratch and then you build something that fell over and then you assume that every house there after you can't build one, like that's just absurd. It means that what you did was it broke because you didn't know what you were doing and you just needed to learn more or you needed to hire an expert, right? Like it's anyway, so um chatbots are incredibly powerful. Um I like them because again, like when and how and where when and how people want to communicate with um People live on messenger. People live on instagram. People live on WhatsApp. People live and communicate with people over smS. I mean just think when you are going to first get in touch with somebody, what is the first method that you reach out to them? Generally it's chat and then if it's like super serious, you might try to call them right? And that is just how people communicate now. And so as marketers, and if you don't view yourself as a marketer in your business owner, you need to start thinking of yourself as a marketer because you cannot grow your business. If you do not market your business, it is not possible. Um So when and how and where they want to be communicated with. One of the reasons why people are saying chat is dead is because it was back in the day, like you mentioned, you could just spam people and that was way back when but you know, in the 2016 2017, when when Messenger was first rolling out automation, um It was the Wild West and people were making a boatload of money building massive list. I mean we were able to our first foray into chat, marketing chatbots, we built a list of 1500 people in I think it was three days might have been five Um big difference there, right? 1500 people in either three days or five days. It's either 500 or 300 a day. But still that's a massive amount. We were paying about a penny per person. And that insanity now back then then you can put all those people into into a list and then broadcast to them technically you weren't allowed to do that. There was breaking of rules, which is why facebook clamp down on how you can communicate with people because it is in their best interest to keep everybody using messenger. Because they're seeing the science, The population that uses facebook is aging out and the newer generations are not using facebook. And so they're investing all their money into VR into messenger. Into voice recognition apps. All those sorts of things. Because they see that, that is where they need to stay. If they're, if they're going to continue to be relevant, they have to pour money into this stuff. So if people are continually spamming getting spammed on messenger, you will not use it. You'll just uninstall it. You'll switch to telegraph, you'll switch to WhatsApp, you'll switch to something and then facebook is out that all of that equity, all of that money that they put into that, they're out just because um, people are spamming. And so that's why uh, facebook changed the rules. And if you are unfamiliar with those, you can anybody can ask me what those rules are and I'd be happy to help. But yeah, [00:21:57] spk_1: awesome. Yeah. I love that background. So um can you, you kind of give you an example, which I love. Did you? So you did that florida conference, I assume, right? Yeah. That's awesome. I love when, you know, when you go to a conference, one of my, one of the hardest things, especially if you're a newer person is to actually grasp the concept, right? People get up there and they give you all this stuff, but it's so cool that you actually step people through so instantly they can see the value there. That's that's awesome. That was a great idea. Um But can you kind of go through uh you know, maybe some different examples of how you could use uh chat messaging, chat marketing to engage your customer to get new customers, uh you know, kind of some basics on that maybe. [00:22:37] spk_0: Yeah, so I'm gonna give you that this is the easiest, most attainable fruit that anybody can do. And if you're not doing this, you need to start now. Um Post purchase inserts. So product inserts. I, you should see, I keep like every product insert. But I get, and I just, just for reference, right? I [00:23:02] spk_1: do too. I'm like obsessive product inserts. I studied them all I think and he does to really, I just, yeah, I take pictures of them because I have, I have a hard enough time keeping my house clean. [00:23:14] spk_0: Yeah, that's like one of these, this is actually not a product insert. This is just a really amazing branding like this, the branding on this. I kept that because the brand is incredible. It's awesome. Um so there's this one, this is a Truth or dare one. This is all getting reviews. So um I'm gonna reference a couple this, this is my most favorite recently and the reason why I like this one the most, this is the go, this is GoPro, so I'm gonna break this down for you, the psychology of this and why it works. So first and foremost you have one call to action. So is it focusing? Can you see that? Okay, so if one call to action, So that's the what? Right then you have four reasons why we have four wise, why you should do the call to action And then two steps how you can do the call to action. So to house one, what? Four wise now, most people's, I'm going to try to cover the branding on this because I'm going to be picking on this person, this is your brand. I apologize and I will significantly discount the funnel that I built for you since I am outing you um, this one. How was your experience or what does this say? How does your new product make you feel now that I love. That's great. This Uh huh is terrible. [00:24:36] spk_1: Oh no, those people who are listening for those people who are listening, he just opened up this insert and it said happy with a big smiley face or need help with the meth face and which is totally against us as well. [00:24:54] spk_0: And so there's so many reasons why this is wrong. one literally every time Dick and harry, does this. Like if you want to stand out from the crowd, you've got to be unique, right? You don't want to be like, you want to be the donkey in a field of horses maybe or the Unicorn. I'd rather be the unicorn. But you get what I'm saying? Like you want to stand out. Like if if you were trying to earn people's trust and money and the whole purpose of this is they're trying to, they're trying to get reviews right. So that's a review insert. Okay, so this is a product registration insert. But the cool thing about this is you inside a chat funnel, you can switch the bottom of the funnel, ask. Okay, so top of funnel, so top of funnel is, this is top of funnel and these are the lead magnets. These four things, Unlimited cloud storage of your GoPro footage. GoPro footage, no questions asked camera replacement. Up to 50% off mounts and accessories. Up to $100 off your next GoPro. And I love the language to, because up to Like, it could be literally a dollar, but it's up to $100. So um, the great thing about this is there, they're wanting you to subscribe. So that's called action. But you could just change it to register, register your purchase for and then you switch at the bottom of the funnel last. So the bottom of the funnel is where you do, you could ask for a review, you could ask for people to join your community and you know uh on facebook and you know possibly become an influencer or you could ask people, you could up sell them another product. A great way to launch products. You launch products and inserts and you say, hey well you bought this, would you like a free this? Or if you've built a brand where where you don't have to give it away from free and people understand that There's value in paying you bought this, would you like this at 50% off, you can get it today only for Blah Blah, whatever. So they register it. And the cool thing about Chat is its dynamic and you can set a time period like you have seven days right now you can't do that in an insert if it's a coupon code but you can deliver a coupon code through chat that is time sensitive. So a very simple chat funnel would be registered your purchase, they go to a QR code or they go to a short link, go into a chat. Fun and then you gather the minimum amount of information up front that you need and then give them something. Engender goodwill and then if you want more information or if you want them to do something else, that's when you do the ask. The biggest thing that you want to make sure that you're not doing is breaking terms of service like this. Now, the chances that this is going to get caught art, honestly, they're not too high, but all it takes is amazon looking into your packaging ones, right? We have were down Our projections this year on Amazon about 500,000 over what we were rejecting. Um mainly because of amazon screwing stuff up and we don't break the rules. So I have enough problems with amazon when we follow the rules, I don't need to create more by breaking them. So that is one thing that I always highly advocate for people and if they decide in their own, you know whatever they want to break the rules and they want to do it their own way that's on them, you can do that. But you just need to understand that you are breaking the rules and you are running the risk of losing not just your revenue now, but if you exit your company, potentially millions upon millions upon millions of dollars just by trying to take a little shortcut. Thanks for tuning in to part [00:28:23] spk_1: one of this episode, Join [00:28:25] spk_0: Us every Tuesday at one [00:28:26] spk_1: PM pacific standard time for live Q and A. [00:28:29] spk_2: And bonus content [00:28:30] spk_1: after the recording at cellar round table dot com, sponsored by the ultimate [00:28:34] spk_2: software tool for amazon sales and [00:28:36] spk_1: growth seller s [00:28:37] spk_2: c o dot com [00:28:38] spk_0: and Amazing [00:28:39] spk_2: at home dot com.

28mins

27 Dec 2021

Rank #8

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Sourcing in the old China; Latin America - Amazon Seller tips with Susana Bermudez - Part 1

Things we discussed in this session:A. Part 1B. Part 2Things we mention in this session of Seller Round Table:https://www.instagram.com/coachsusanavida/?hl=eninfo@manufacturesuppliers.comJoin us every Tuesday at 1:00 PM PST for Live Q&A and Bonus Content at  https://sellerroundtable.comTry the greatest Amazon seller tools on the planet free for 30 days at https://sellerseo.com/Transcription in this episode:[00:00:01] spk_1: Welcome [00:00:02] spk_2: to the seller roundtable e commerce coaching and business strategies with and er not and amy, we's [00:00:08] spk_1: hey everyone, what's up, Welcome to the seller roundtable uh, and he's out today but that's okay. I got him covered and I'm here with my friends who Sana bermudas and we're going to be talking about something that everybody has wondered about sourcing outside of china, getting your products from somewhere else besides china. So today we're specifically going to be talking about sourcing from latin America and what that looks like and how it's different and how you even get started with that. We are an episode number 121 of the seller roundtable and I'm just so excited to have Susanna here because he was just a wealth of knowledge. So welcome Susanna. Thank [00:00:59] spk_0: you Amy. And I'm like glad to be here. And uh if I can answer your questions or the doubts that you could probably have about like how I change my sourcing from the, I mean the rest of the world because I have clients for many countries that are trying to change their sourcing mostly from Asia. But yeah, to do it in latin America. [00:01:23] spk_1: Amazing And tell us a little bit, we always start off our show with just learning about our guests. So tell us a little bit about you as much or as little as you want, a little bit about your background where you grew up, all that fun stuff. Uh yeah, we'd love to hear it. [00:01:42] spk_0: Yeah, well I'm, I'm from Costa rica, I born in Costa rica. Um, then I moved to Mexico Mexico city and I started my journey in like Let's say on this on 2018 probably because I was helping manufacturers in Mexico with their procurement side, you know like trying to find other sources in the U. S. [00:02:14] spk_1: And then they were [00:02:15] spk_0: like asking me can we sell our products in the U. S. And so I start digging on how to sell products in the U. S. And my first thought was like retail right? Um because we're used to retail in latin America, that's that's the way we do business ecommerce. It's so so new for us even now. Um So I started trying to help them on that and I started to learn about e commerce. I thought like amazon was a big store and they were in charge of everything and they were selling like everything for for from their themselves. You know I didn't [00:02:58] spk_1: know it was [00:02:59] spk_0: people you know like selling stuff there. So when I understand more of the business um I make it like a little ad saying Mexico is the next china right? And people start like what what are you saying here? And they start asking like for things I don't know supplements uh things made from leather from wood and I was like they want this and they also want the package with the different brand. And I I started like realizing this was something here, you know it was different from everything that I knew in the past so helping them that's that's how it starts, you know everything starts there and and it was not just with the manufacturers but also now with the e commerce sellers and that's that's how I'm starting all this crazy world. [00:04:05] spk_1: Yeah, you know it's so crazy because I love Mexico you and I have talked about this, we met at Prosper and you know we kind of bonded over this and I love Mexico and my family and I go all the time and I have been I always have conversations and just try to learn more, you know there's no big amazon seller community in Mexico and I started trying to learn more about manufacturing in Mexico in particular because I was always going there, right and I was wondering is there trade, are their trade shows here, is there is there different what types of goods are manufactured here? And I knew from my M. B. A. Program that there were a lot of major brands like Toyota, like many clothing companies, lots of different major brands that had already moved their manufacturing to latin America and that's really how it starts, you know it really starts with these big brands that have the resources to open up their own facilities in these countries and uh you know it kind of makes the rest of us think what about the possibilities of meat eventually manufacturing there. Um it's really, really cool, so it was so neat to meet you because you were working on sourcing from latin America on a smaller scale and normally when you hear about a new country like that you could potentially source from such as Vietnam or Taiwan or something like that. You normally only hear about big brands doing that and the rest of us kind of feel like oh wow, how do I crack that code? Um and I think the big thing about sourcing from latin America is that there, let's talk about kind of the atmosphere there, right, so the pandemic actually brought a lot of these manufacturers to the realization that they needed to provide for others outside of their own countries. Can you talk a little bit about what manufacturers in latin America are like and what they have primarily been doing and what they are now realizing you the pandemic. [00:06:24] spk_0: Yeah, actually that that was one of the things I was, I have a big group of manufacturers that I know the owners particularly and they were like at the beginning before the pandemic, I start telling them oh if you wanna sell in the US, it converse is the, is the way to do it. And they were like no no no no we don't want to do that, we don't see a need on that. And then the pandemic hits. And they had most of them were like very worried because their their facilities were closed or they could just work work with a little um a group of people so they could not fulfill not even the demand of of their own uh country because sometimes it was hard to get the materials or the other companies were closed or the stores that they used to sell were closed. So it was like this mess all over because they didn't know what to do, right? And then they start contacting me and say you know what we need to get out of Mexico, we need to sell outside of Mexico. So when we open our doors, uh we have clients because most of our clients, little shops or medium companies, they were gone [00:07:52] spk_1: toilet. [00:07:53] spk_0: Yeah. Yeah. So it was something that they started like looking and and that's that's why I try to educate them because it's all new for them, you know? And [00:08:11] spk_1: so these manufacturers are mostly used to supplying smaller shops and things like that in their own country. And this also happened in the US as well. Like small shops started pivoting to e commerce because they were closing and they realize like I have to have some other way to sell my goods. So it's even worse in these countries where like you mentioned it's not a humongous e commerce presence. Most people still do shop in stores. You know in these manufacturers, they had more than enough work just manufacturing for their local stores before the pandemic and then suddenly the pandemic hits and they're like, whoa! You know, it's kind of like us, we realized, wow! You know, I put all my eggs in one basket and now that basket is in trouble. Like a bunch of us amazon sellers when amazon stopped delivering non essential goods, right? If it wasn't, it wasn't an essential good, it didn't get delivered. And all these amazon sellers had their inventory just held hostage and suddenly their income, it wasn't, it wasn't that people didn't want to buy those things. It was that amazon couldn't deliver them. They were maxed out. And so, you know, I think we learned that in any situation where we have a pandemic, where it's like, wow, okay. You know, I never want to put all of my eggs in one basket, so we all get to now experience these manufacturers who want to grow beyond their own borders. But at the same time, there's challenges. Yeah. A lot of people have been asking me in the facebook groups have been a mean, how are you getting products in latin America? And the answer is I'm not yet, I'm figuring it out, but there's a lot to figure out. And what I'm realizing working with Susanna and some of the other folks that are in latin America is like geez, there is a huge, it's completely different than anywhere else you've ever sourced from. First of all and people are like, well how do I search for manufacturers, You can't, I mean you can, I found a few finding the spanish word for that, whatever it was called. And then I found a few of the websites, but unless you're there in person, it's very tough. Unless you have those relationships like Susanna has, she has those relationships with manufacturers, she can talk to them in their language, she can work with them, she can explain to them the benefits of working with a supplier or an importer um that is working in smaller quantities like a micro brand, those kinds of things versus what they're used to working with. So this is completely new to them [00:10:58] spk_0: and [00:10:59] spk_1: we finding these manufacturers, there's no alibaba, there's no, a lot of these manufacturers don't even have their own website. So it's really about learning the culture, learning um what is there, what types of products you can source? And Susanna and I did kind of a project where we were listing out all the different popular categories to source from in china And we identify what 400, no, [00:11:28] spk_0: 200 [00:11:29] spk_1: 30 categories from the Canton Fair website that could be sourced from somewhere in Latin America. Right? There's a lot of products that you can get in latin America. The problem is not that the products can't be made. The problem is that it's completely different than sourcing from china or sourcing from India or sourcing from any other country and we need an education, we need and the manufacturers, they need an education. And it's like we have this kind of wall between us that we're slowly trying to break down. So I know we've got folks that are really interested in doing this. So what's the first step Susanna. If I want to source my product from latin America, I want to find an alternative supplier. There's no alibaba, There's millie that manufacturer might not have a website. What is the first step to find being a manufacturer in latin America [00:12:28] spk_0: work in your patients? [00:12:30] spk_1: No. Yeah. Well [00:12:33] spk_0: that's one of the things but also it's very important. And you and I talk about this many of the sellers, they don't know what they're selling, you know, and they pretend that with a picture, oh if I show you a picture, you're going to be able to go and find this in latin America. No. Yeah, probably. Yes. If it's something you know made from wood, but I don't need to understand the dimensions, the type of wood. All those things that most of the of the sellers are used to just show a picture and that's it [00:13:11] spk_1: and the supplier in china just figures it out and gives them packaging and everything else. It's like, you know, it was so funny because you were telling me, you know, my my clients that come from me that are in our program. They are not allowed in the amazing at home program. They're not allowed to talk to a manufacturer until they know their manufacturing process? And they have a spec sheet fully filled out. That's when they're able to search for manufacturers and start reaching out to them. So you are getting a lot of clients from other people. And they would just be like, can you make this? They didn't do a picture where can you just find me a supplier of this? And you're like, what is this again? You know one of our girls, Carla, I had her reach out to you and you were like, oh it was so nice working with Carla because she knew her material. She knew her dimension. She had everything. And I could find her that process. Because a lot of times it's not just it's not the manufacturers not just going to make this right? It's okay. What's inside the bottle? What type of process is used to make this oil? Right. This this products from Pakistan, believe it or not. But you know, there's so many things. So what we're telling them is step one from sourcing from latin America is no your product know your manufacturing process. And make sure you have a spec sheet, this is not Alibaba. This is not, can you make this lee, What is it? Is it ceramic? Is it You know, glass? What is it? How big is it? How wide is it? What kind of printing is here? You know, we need to know those things, Right. And then what do you do when you get that information? What how are you able to kind of find the manufacture? What's the next step? [00:15:13] spk_0: Well sometimes I have like from the many manufacturers that I know sometimes with, with that specification, I can, I can tell, well maybe this one can do the work, you know or the or the product or whatever. Um and from from there if if I make sure that they can manufacture that because sometimes people is like, oh can you give me three or four options? And I'm like okay I'm gonna work first in one and then we will realize how that looks like because if we don't know we don't have enough information for example target price, that's something that they say, oh my target price is [00:16:02] spk_1: this one [00:16:03] spk_0: and they are just thinking in their target price in china. You know, it's not the same again, we're not china, it's different. Labor is different in latin America [00:16:16] spk_1: whole negotiation process is different because you know my folks they know to work in target prices because that's just a general term that's used. But the thing that I learned, so I started I found a manufacturer in Mexico city and I have a friend that lives in Mexico city who's in the industry and who speaks spanish and who can go over there and naturally meet with the manufacturer that I was reaching out to. Right? And uh so first of all I found the website for that manufacturer and I sent them a message in spanish and I didn't get a response at all. So they were very responsive. The chat, the chat like you know they have a little chat about built in on their website that was very responsive, you know it was probably some kind of answering service. And then I went and I sent them an email in spanish explaining like hey this is what I'm looking for and did not get an answer when he went and called them and talk to them and explain everything. He did get an answer and he said they for sure can make your products but the price I pay in china. Now let me just explain this you guys the price I pay in china. First of all you guys have to know something about me. I don't pay the same price as you pay in china because I know how to talk to manufacturers But this particular product, I source it for $2 and I sell it for 20. Okay and I have another product is made of the same material is very similar and I source that for about $6 landed with shipping from China and I sell it for 40. Okay now We went to this manufacturer in Mexico in Mexico City and their quote was $25 and I was like $25. I can make it myself. I mean I can make it myself for less than that. You know like it was just really crazy and what my friend explained to me as he said, Okay but that's not, you know that's not how it works here, how it works here is you have to, this is not even you haven't even begun negotiation. You haven't even really talked about prices. They want to get to know you, they want to know, they can trust you in latin America. It's about trust, who are you dealing with? Right? It's kind of like if you reach out to a supplier on Alibaba and you don't know what you're talking about. They don't trust you, they give you the super high price and you're just like, oh that's crazy right? But if you take the time to set up a meeting with them and talk to them and gain their trust and you're there to be partners in business together than your prices look a lot different. So that's why I was explaining you guys, I don't pay what you guys pay for products because I build relationships, right? So that's what we were experiencing in latin America is in Mexico is this supplier basically said Yeah $25. But then I told my friend I said that's crazy. You know that's what and he said, well we haven't even started we haven't gained any trust yet. We haven't talked to any really sat down with them or anything yet. So what is your experience been Susanna and how should we learn about what it means to deal with the manufacturer to talk with the manufacturer to build a relationship. You know if we get that high price in the beginning like I just did, should we be afraid? Should we be like, oh there's no way I can work with that guy. How should we look at it? [00:19:53] spk_0: No, I think and and that's a cultural thing. You know like at the beginning yes you're gonna give that price. And I get that to you know like me trying to help like amazon sellers or e commerce sellers and and and mostly the, well the manufacturers could say well this is the price right? And I talked to them and explain them why it's important to lower the price because this could be a long term relationship. So sometimes I do that for for my customers because they have like a couple of clients that says no, no I'm going to manage the communications. You just tell me one manufacturer can do this for me. And I say okay here it is. This is the contact. And then they came back to me saying they are not responding. They are not giving me prices. I want samples and and and and that's why I say, well that's why we do that because we speak the same language sometimes on many of the connections. I can talk with the owner of the manufacturer and say, hey, I need help with this actually with many of them. I've been setting [00:21:10] spk_1: up like [00:21:11] spk_0: regular meetings because they need to learn to and and they need to experience that part because other things that is happening is that there is some products that again you guys are too used to have like a bundle of five products. It's one product, but it's [00:21:30] spk_1: With five different items, right? [00:21:33] spk_0: And then they're like, what I'm gonna do with this, I can do this too, but I can do this all the other three products. So they don't understand that. It's a matter of patients, you know, like if I have to look for this or this or this and put it together is gonna take time. And you and I talk about like the importance of, You know grow with your manufacturer. If you see that their quality is good, let's say you order, they say Okay, um it's $25, right? You order a sample from them or whatever. You have to check that sample and go with them and say, okay, let's set up a meeting because I think we can do this this way that way, you know, grow with them. Talk to them and then they will go, oh you're teaching me too. So I, I want to do this because you're going to help me with my process. You know [00:22:34] spk_1: what I'm saying? Exactly because that's how china was 20 years ago, you know, people went to china and started working with these manufacturers and grew with them and said, okay, let's learn this together, right? And they were able to gain, you know, certifications and they were able to gain retail badges and things like that. And now that's like a badge of honor for them. You know, they show it on their banners and stuff when you go and you visit. So whenever we're working with countries where the manufacturers are not, of course Toyota, their manufacturer in Mexico is going to be very built out, right? They're going to be grown because Toyota grew with them. They went and they put their resources into it. And so some of you private label sellers who might be here listening today to this podcast and going, okay, but I'm not Toyota, but you do have skills and you do have resources and you do have something to bring to the table for a smaller manufacturer who might have never exported for their outside of their normal boundaries, right? They might have never done that. And you may be able to be able to bring something to them that allows them to grow as well. And the relationship that you can build together and the things that you can make together, your supplier should be your partner. They're basically like half of your business, You don't have products, you have nothing right? If you're if you're in product business, you don't have anything and if your products on quality you have nothing right? So you really have to make sure that your supplier is your partner and we've gotten spoiled in china because we can just be like, oh yeah, here make this right. Um and there's a lot of resources and they're used to inspecting every product and they're used to the way that things should look. But it isn't like that. It doesn't mean that manufacturers in latin America don't make quality goods quite the opposite. I mean if you go to latin America and you go shopping at a store and you see, I mean you're going to see that there's quality stuff, there's really great stuff. Some stuff you might want to bring to the US and self but but it just takes that communication, it takes an understanding, it takes working together. So to recap, first step is know your product, know your process have respect dots, figured out. The second step is don't think you're going to be able to just message a supplier and get an answer back or that that first price that if you do get an answer that that first price that you get is going to be perfect, take go the extra mile and build a relationship, work together. Talk to them figure it out, right? And then the next thing is utilize resources on the ground. So you have people like Susanna who can help you. She's only one person right now. I just got a lot of work going on but you have people like her who can help you to have those get those conversations started and just start working together and to start doing that. And then the next lesson is that's going to take time, it's not going to be like you sent a picture today and tomorrow you're going to have a manufacturer. So if you're wanting to move your production outside of china and you want to move it into latin America you need to start today because it could take you six months to a year to find the right manufacturer and to get the quality right and to get working together where you need to go to. [00:26:23] spk_0: Yeah [00:26:24] spk_1: thanks for tuning in to part one of this [00:26:26] spk_2: episode, join [00:26:27] spk_1: us every Tuesday at [00:26:28] spk_2: one PM pacific standard time for live Q [00:26:30] spk_1: and A. And bonus [00:26:31] spk_2: content after the [00:26:32] spk_1: recording at cellar round [00:26:34] spk_2: table dot com, sponsored by the ultimate software tool for amazon sales and growth [00:26:39] spk_1: seller, S C [00:26:39] spk_2: O dot com [00:26:40] spk_1: and amazing at home dot com

26mins

13 Dec 2021

Rank #9

Podcast cover

Sourcing in the old China; Latin America - Amazon Seller tips with Susana Bermudez Part 2

Things we discussed in this session:A. Part 1B. Part 2Things we mention in this session of Seller Round Table:https://www.instagram.com/coachsusanavida/?hl=eninfo@manufacturesuppliers.comJoin us every Tuesday at 1:00 PM PST for Live Q&A and Bonus Content at  https://sellerroundtable.comTry the greatest Amazon seller tools on the planet free for 30 days at https://sellerseo.com/Transcription in this episode:[00:00:01] spk_2: welcome to the seller roundtable e commerce coaching and business strategies with and er not and amy we's [00:00:08] spk_1: I think we're in the right moment to do this because there I mean it's not that that in the past they were not open but they are more open now and they are willing to do products that they never uh did before. You know even if they have the material you know uh they because I experienced this with wood stuff, they are like I never did this before, I'm used to do chairs or I'm used to do tables. But guess what? I have all the things that I need and if you walk me through I can accomplish this, you know, So I think if you're building a private label brand of home the core or things like that and you are able to take the time to work with them, you will have massive success. I mean and I'm not saying that the price is gonna be the same. I never say that the price is gonna be the same like in china because there's many differences uh in latin America there is a group that support um cos little companies or start ups and and is that there's no slavery at the level that we can see in other countries. You know uh And I also like to take care of the manufacturer or the or their Cassano's right because I mean Most of their families they eat from that you know and if you are coming to one of our countries and say oh but I want to pay $2 for this, you're charging before, but I want to pay $2 because I pay $2 in China. You have to realize that you're not in china and you're dealing with someone that will probably can grow with you, but they eat from from that only product for example, [00:02:12] spk_0: right? And they may not be at the point where they can give you super mass manufacturing prices like china can because a lot of raw materials are in china so they have to sometimes import those raw materials. But where you can make up the money, here's the thing. So here's a wonderful thing. It might sound like, okay, Susannah just said we can't get good prices and you know, I may as well just stay in china then. Okay, so here's where there's some really cool benefits. This is what I'm really excited about sourcing from latin America for not only is there not an ocean between us, you know, if I'm selling in the U. S. There's no giant ocean that I have to import. So lead times importing is actually quite easy. So I have several clients that have moved their manufacturing to Mexico and they used to be in europe or china. And what has been really cool about it is they went from having to order. So all of us have to order big quantities in china. We have to order big quantities because that's how we get discounts, right? We order big quantities, we stick it in a container, we put it across the ocean our lead times to get those big quantity made, usually 30 to 45 days depending on what the product is just to get it produced And then the lead time to get in here is 30 days sometimes longer. Right? So now we're looking at, we always need to be looking 90 days ahead to stay ahead of our manufacturing and we're having to order really large quantities. Uh So what you can do in latin America, which is really cool is you can work with your manufacturer especially they're making something that's new to them, right? Maybe like Susanna said there would they make wood products, make tables or chairs and now you're asking them to make a short Treasury board or something like that, right? You know, who knows? But um but now they're changing up their production, their changing up their processes to work with you, right? But they can make that in smaller quantities to begin with and you can have your product in amazon in like two days. It's very quick and you can ship it super easily. You don't have to find, you know, some big expensive freight forwarder, you can just use Chl and you know you can ship it very very easily, you can use ground freight, it's you know, it's not the same, you can shorter lead times smaller quantities. Now that being said, if you have something where you're selling a ton and you're you're selling, you know it's just a really it's like your best seller and your shipping container loads at a time. You may not want to move that product first to latin America. You might want to look at your whole repertoire products, all of your product lines, you might go okay, this one I can look for a supplier of and if I could find the solid supplier in smaller quantities. But if you're shipping containers several containers a week from china of one product, you may not find a manufacturer in latin America for that immediately because that's what I've learned through working with other sellers that are really shipping container loads every week. Um That it's very difficult for some of the manufacturers. They found in latin America to produce those those kinds of quantities. But [00:05:53] spk_1: I think it will depend on the product because for example, I have a client uh she does clothing and it was it was super fast. I mean she could she was able to source big quantities because the manufacturer, it's in peru and they've been doing this for other renamed brands in the U. S. And and she showed them her designs. Yeah it took a little time but [00:06:26] spk_0: they were like [00:06:27] spk_1: working together um and she was able to like shit like it was a big big quantity. Uh [00:06:36] spk_0: But [00:06:38] spk_1: what I'm trying to say is not that they cannot find it, but it has to be something that we already good at like Yeah [00:06:47] spk_0: exactly. Because I've heard the opposite to, I've heard that people have been quoted way to higher quantities from really professional manufacturers and you find the same thing in in china, you know, if it's a really good manufacturer that's already in major brands, they are going to give you these super high minimum order quantities because they don't want to deal with small batches. So depending on the product you might find but you might find a supplier that can that either is too much for you or too little for you or maybe you'll find one of both. There's a ton of manufacturers that are in latin America all across different countries, Everything that you can take advantage of. So don't rule it out. And the number one rule is build a relationship because you never know what you can do it. It's the same, that is the same in china. Even if you know, I had a client, we found a manufacturer that she just loved for her product And they were huge. I mean we got on a video call with them and they had huge showrooms, they were doing so many different types of products and she was like a me, I love them but I don't know they gave me a minimum or fun to be 10,000 units and we got on a call, I said don't worry about it, let's get on a call with them? It's introduce ourselves, let's get to know them. And we were able to source a small quantity from them and they were really great to work with because we took the time to sit down and to build a relationship. [00:08:20] spk_1: That's totally the difference. I think that's totally, totally the difference. And, and mostly if you want to grow, like, like we mentioned, if you want to grow your business, that's what it takes. You know, like do it probably the, the old way old school. Uh, yeah, because it's about taking the time, it's about caring about your product, caring about what you're doing? You know, and but birth, I mean latin markets, it's a fun place to be even, you know, if you can go and meet one of the manufacturers and and try to talk to [00:09:00] spk_0: them, they're all speaking of that, let's talk about that because I think a lot of people are nervous. They, when they think of Mexico, they think of drug cartels, they think of danger. They think of all that right? And they're like, we've heard, right, the common questions that are asked as well, what about my goods, are they in danger? You know, am I going to be, is everything going to be safe there? You know, what's what's the chances I'm going to be dealing with, you know, a manufacturer that's involved in a cartel, You know, what, what should people be thinking about when it's, what do we say back to those safety concerns about sourcing? [00:09:41] spk_1: I mean I never experienced that in the past with any of my clients. Uh, I don't know if that's just, you know, gossip. I'm not saying that that doesn't exist because that exists in every country probably, you know, but I I don't think that's something they have to worry people about that because also let's just thinking about when you go and travel. You know, if you didn't take the chance to go to a place just because what people are saying about the country and all and this and the drugs and the, it's too insecure. I mean, you know, it's the same thing. Just stay at your home and probably you're going to be there and in business I think is the same is the same way if you, it's, we're so close, like for example Mexico, it's so close that in a couple of flights or I don't know, less than 10 hours. You can be in Mexico or less than two hours in one hour. It depends where you are, but it's so it is that, you know, it's [00:10:53] spk_0: that changes things for me. I'm no longer and that's why I want to build a relationship with a supplier in latin America, you know because multiple suppliers in latin America. But starting with this first one, even though I'm getting some pretty high price quotes and learning to, I'm not just ruling that out. I'm learning to understand the culture and I understand what it takes and the great thing is I'm in san Antonio, I can be in Mexico city in two hours, you know, versus china that's like several days and there's some serious quarantine. I've been during the pandemic. I've been to Mexico like four times. I love it and there's no, you know the hospitality there is just wonderful and the people are great and their joyful and the food is amazing, you know, so I I would encourage people to not be concerned. You have to be concerned about your safety no matter where you go. [00:11:51] spk_1: You know I [00:11:52] spk_0: Mean I couldn't believe it serving in the military because you know here I was fighting to keep America free and I got stationed over in Korea and I'll never forget, you know Korea has been at armistice for you know, I think 50 some years now. Um and so when I went there, my family, they started sending me like care packages like you know with food and stuff like that and they're like these shapes, you know, and I told him I was like there's a Taco bell right here. Like there's Mcdonald's, I don't, I don't need beef turkey and rations, you know I'm okay like this, this place is great, the restaurants are amazing. The food is amazing that people are cool and I felt safer in a war torn country in a dark alley than I've ever felt in the U. S. So it definitely made me think twice about like whoa okay until I experience until I went out to other countries and experience what it was like to actually live there and be ingrained in the culture. Um Everything that I had heard, everything that my family thought about that place was completely different. So yeah I agree people should experience it and they shouldn't um they shouldn't rule it out. We were talking about brasilia brazil is has some major electronics you know you can they a lot of great technology resources and stuff like that and you know they're great but when we when the olympics I think it was the olympics that were at brazil like four years ago or something wasn't the olympics it was some major sporting event or something. Um I don't remember what it was but somebody was there and I remember a few of our folks from our our unit we're going to visit during this time and people were saying oh it's so dangerous you know and there was there's a lot of pickpocketing and like small theft kind of things but any time you go to a major event like that like the little things are going to come out right? So but in general you know the people that went to that event came back and they were like that was fine you know there was no people are being murdered on the streets, it was okay. So I think it's just a general thing that we don't know what we don't know and we need to take the time to actually learn build relationships and give it a try. Right? [00:14:20] spk_1: Yeah. In latin America, I mean it's if people like that never been there have like all this in their heads, just go for it, go ahead and give it a try and you will realize that it was just you know, maybe one but experience from someone here or there or whatever. I mean we don't know where they, where they were, you know, but generally if you go to Monterey or you go to certain places in the border or I don't know to Mexico city also to Colombia to Guatemala to all these places. Uh we welcome people from other places because we know how important it is to bring them for tourism. Now imagine if we try to keep them for tourism or keep coming, why we're not going to do that the same if they're going to help us to grow our businesses. You know, you're going to try to protect that. And so I will say I will encourage everybody to to explore, Not, not be afraid of all price or this or that. No, it's just another way to make your business grow in a certain way or you're gonna grow or your business or you're, you're gonna know more people or you're going to be open to something different. You know there is a lot of stuff to discover and to explore in a place that it's too it is close to the U. S. Yeah, but although it's it's, I don't know [00:16:00] spk_0: and I wanna I wanna put it out there to our listeners, I want to put it out there to not only think about finding manufacturers for your stuff, but think about the opportunities that you have based on the skills that you have. So you all know how to launch products online and many people in these countries do not. [00:16:29] spk_1: And [00:16:30] spk_0: amazon is now moving into many of these countries like amazon just opened in brazil there. Ben opened in Mexico and they're continuing to grow. There are so many manufacturers of finished goods, things that you know, there are things that are already made that you could either potentially white label, you could list for them. There are so many opportunities to make money. Uh people are looking at friends that are, you know looking at amazon brazil for example and they are looking for manufacturers in the local area where they can just hook up with them list their products to the local market because they already know what they're doing right? So they can list those products and they can help that local market and they can make money at the same time to really think about all of the opportunities that you have and not just even your own products, of course you can look for alternate alternative suppliers and hopefully you can find one and but also look at all the other things. Were planning a sourcing trip to latin America later this year. And we're thinking about starting in that white label space, right? Just discovering manufacturers in the white label space where you can discover all the different finished goods, all the different things that you can already get and that you can use your skills to become an even more innovative and global entrepreneur. Your skills are valuable. And so I just want to encourage you guys not only to consider uh finding manufactured for your own products, but to look at what goods are manufactured in these other countries and use your skills to either bring those goods to the U. S. Or people in Australia. We've got all these different marketplaces, you know, think about global commerce and what you can do if you just dip your toe into another market. Um Yeah I think it's a really good opportunity and you know it's crazy so point then. [00:18:44] spk_1: Right? Yeah. Tulsa Okla. Also in in in the same uh amazon Mexico, you know uh there is a lot of products that you could probably buy there and sell them tell the problem right away in amazon Mexico, you know, Yeah or bring into the bringing those products to the U. S. Or whatever. But yeah there's a lot of opportunities and I think it's like Amy said like we don't have to keep all our accent in the same basket. We need to find other ways and then we get creative right Amy you can get really creative with ideas and stuff and what we can do because when we open our minds to to the possibilities, you know uh we can discover that there's more in latin America maybe for me or you know it's it's kind of interesting but I will encourage everybody to just take, take the chance and and try to uh b b at least with one ft in the other side. You know what I'm saying? Just in case just to just to test the waters, you don't have to switch your sourcing tomorrow. But you can start like finding finding new products or new ideas or or we're working the way uh slow pace to just change your sorting from one uh continent to the other. [00:20:19] spk_0: Exactly, exactly. Well we always wrap up our sessions asking from an entrepreneur standpoint what kinds of things are you reading or listening to that are super motivating you right now. Do you have certain podcast, you have a book, you just read that you're just like it's amazing. It really inspired me. Is there something that you're reading or listening to right now that is really inspiring you. [00:20:45] spk_1: I read too. Well I read I read one book like pretty much every day because I discover new things every day in that book and it's the napoleon hill uh, book that is called thinking real Rich because it's not about making money, it's about grow rich right here. Right? And as you know, Amy, I'm a life and business coach. So I, I love everything that has to be or it's uh, it's about the mind you know, and and all that and the other one is go giver that I love that book because I don't know if you give more, you will receive more. Maybe not in the same way but, but it's, it's kind of cool how things are connected in life and when you go and you try to give to other people whatever they need you will, you will get your needs fulfill at some point. [00:21:49] spk_0: Got it. I love both of those books. Go give her and thinking very rich. It's awesome. And last but not least how can people get in contact with you to get connected to sourcing in latin America. [00:22:03] spk_1: Well, I have uh, well my, my instagram, it's at coach Susanna vida and then my email is info at manufacturers suppliers dot com. So everything every question or whatever you can send uh, send an email to me to info at manufacturer supplier dot com. [00:22:24] spk_0: Got it. So info at manufacturer suppliers dot com awesome. Yes. And then your instagram you're on facebook to your all over the place. so I know where to find her. So you know you can, you can always reach out to me as [00:22:41] spk_1: well [00:22:42] spk_0: so and you know we like I said we're planning a trip out there as well so you know those, those of you stay in touch if you're wanting to just kind of get into that side of things um there's gonna be lots of things, lots of opportunities coming in latin America so excited about that. All right everyone, well thank you so much for being here Susanna, it was so great to just talk about all these things. Hopefully today everyone feels kind of refreshed and they have a better understanding of how to get started and what to expect when they do and how to reach out to you and they get stuck. Um and yeah, it's just been wonderful having you so thanks everyone for tuning in and we'll see you guys next week on the seller roundtable. [00:23:30] spk_1: Bye. Hi thank you amy [00:23:34] spk_2: thanks for tuning in, join us every Tuesday at one PM pacific standard time for live Q and A. And bonus content after the recording at cellar round table dot com sponsored by the ultimate software tool for amazon sales and growth seller S C. O dot com and amazing at home dot com

23mins

13 Dec 2021

Rank #10