50% of Sales off Amazon

Ted joins us to talk about Sales off Amazon

  • Diversify your risk by selling off of Amazon
  • Ted has been selling on Amazon for a long time
  • Fall of 2015 when everyone started getting hit with suspensions
  • If anyone can snap their fingers and put you out of business then it’s not your business
  • Realised he was ‘working for Jeff’

Shopify Store

  • Runs on Shopify because it’s configurable if not easy
  • Setup the Shopify in November and did some business as sold out on Amazon
  • Struggled for a while but kept cranking away at it
  • There is so much that you can do using Shopify and you don’t get the same feedback as you do on Amazon

No Silver Bullets

  • There are no ‘silver bullets’ to getting sales off amazon
  • It’s just an accumulation of things that all add up to increase sales off Amazon
  • You are trying to replicate what Amazon has done with an average conversion of 10% on Amazon
  • This is done with building trust and urgency with customers as Amazon has built over the years
  • You have to build this off of Amazon
  • And buyers are more comfortable buying off Amazon now


  • Putting a sticker on something is not a brand
  • Ted’s brand actually has a brand with a ‘voice’
  • A lot of people building up brands on Amazon do not have this

Have an Identity

  • Started as a private labeller doing compression socks and things like that
  • Used Jungle Scout to find his niche and understood the niche very well
  • Was always good at bundling and that’s why they gained traction on Amazon
  • Any time Ted buys on Amazon he keeps the packaging and analyses it for branding ability
  • If you’re going to build a store it has to be something that people have a connection to come back time nad time again to buy
  • It has to have an identity
  • When spinning up a new Shopify store it has to have an identity


  • Do product inserts like a lot of other private labellers do
  • Tried Google adwords that didn’t work out well
  • Moved to Facebook and had success with Facebook ads initially
  • Are really good at having a self-liquidating front of the funnel – have a breakeven offer at the front and…
  • With retargeting campaigns and a good back funnel with upsells via email and everything else (a lot of little things all together – lead bullets)
  • Cart abandonment is about 24%
  • Spend a lot of time working through what makes a compelling offer to customers

Intentional Interactions

  • Very intentional with every interaction that a customer has with them
  • Swapping out what Shopify puts in there and using things that resonate with their customers in their brand voice
  • A little quirky but works really well with their customer base
  • Every interaction is an ‘experience’ for their customer
  • Used Derek Sivers email sequence as an example of how they wanted the buying experience from their brand to be like
  • Have customers that come back and keeping buying year after year because of that emotional impact and connection

Traffic Sources

  • Using Facebook and have used Google
  • Found and agency that managed to make them profitable on this
  • Started focussing on social proof
  • Get organic from Facebook and Instagram
  • Were very intentional about how they approached it
  • Built beachheads on each of the platforms and drove heavy with Facebook
  • Now do Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube
  • Getting organic from all of those
  • Facebook is the biggest driver but Pinterest is the dark horse due to Google image search helping
  • Traffic comes direct from Google Image Search but via Pinterest pins

Site SEO

  • Spent quite a bit of time on SEO for `google to establish trust
  • Shopify doesn’t let you get totally deep into SEO but we’re in business to sell products not top SEO
  • Fine being in top 3 search results
  • Write blog posts on websites to seed content
  • Syndicate using Zapier to bring people to that content across Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr
  • Don’t focus on every niche but just show up and put stuff there
  • Paid search is great as it lets you evaluate if anyone cares
  • Think of it as a series of nets through retargeting to capture interest

Assess Competitors

  • We go through a regular assessment of competitors
  • Found that one of them was getting lots of traffic through Twitter
  • Can’t figure out how to crack that nut yet, but will keep showing up there and come back in the future
  • Twitter can build look-alike audiences on Twitter and market to them there
  • Go try to see where your customers are and run with it until you stop getting the growth you want

Revenue Split

  • Revenue split is around 50/50 on Amazon but this month might come to more on Shopify than on Amazon
  • Walmart really sucks currently with room to grow, the feedback loops are so slow (similar to Shopify not Amazon)
  • The SEO aspect of Amazon is the reason and need to get better at it
  • Walmart are so hyper-focussed on price that it may not be worth it with our brand – might go white label instead but not sure it’s worth it for the volume
  • eBay orders are mostly international customers
  • Charlie Munger said – if you can’t be the price leader there’s little benefit in being second best – applies to us with Walmart
  • Amazon gives you the tools to go make decisions yourself
  • Walmart don’t do that and give you worse tools and no visibility

Shopify to do 50% Sales off Amazon

  • No silver bullets and won’t happen overnight
  • ToS legal ways you can get customers off of Amazon
  • Inserts are key
  • Consider that you have a customer base
  • Really look at the purchase process for successful Shopify stores and study what they do
  • Social proof and checkout process is HUGE
  • Pura Vida bracelets – checkout their process and all the things they have to make customers comfortable entering their credit card and buying from them
  • They address all the customer concerns in the beginning
  • How quick does it ship?
  • If I get it and I’m not happy?
  • Do you accept these forms of payment?
  • Shopify lets you integrate with a wide variety of payment processors – upto six processors increases your conversion rate

Be a Human

  • Amazon puts you on rails
  • You are not going to convert as well if you’re not a Human
  • People go to your About Us page
  • You’re not a corporate monolith
  • Connect with people and resonate your brand

Send traffic to your own store

  • Big new product development stuff is now
  • Usually go to Kickstarter and the email lists to drive traffic
  • Then after delivered the Kickstarter then push people to the Amazon site to drive the initial traction there for new products
  • Don’t get the Shopify Analytics with Amazon
  • Can’t retarget on Amazon the way you can elsewhere
  • And am building someone else’s business with Amazon
  • Backend for Shopify is the enhanced ecommerce portion of Google Analytics
  • Use Ad-espresso for Facebook to do split testing
  • Most of our customers are male – even though market is not overwhelmingly male


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