8 Figure Amazon Seller Mels Terlouw Goes Deep On Data
Danny McMillan welcomes Mels Terlouw, an Amazon seller from the Netherlands, to the podcast for his first time on Seller Sessions.
- Mels started selling on Amazon in 2014 after discovering people selling $100k per month.
- He set a goal to hit $10k in sales by end of 2014. Hit $100k that first year.
- Grew to $2.4 million in sales in 2015, then continued rapid growth each year.
- Hit 9 figure mark in 2020 but had a setback afterwards. Still doing great.
- In 2016, started building own software tools and put them into a mastermind group.
- Opened the tools up in 2022 as Intellivy.
Obsessed With Listing Optimisation
- Focus is on listing creation based on consumer insights.
- This can be the difference between 15 units vs 250 units sold per day.
The Evolution of Amazon
- In the “golden age” of 2014-2016, selling was easy on Amazon. Fake reviews worked.
- Now Amazon algorithm and competition has evolved. Old tricks don’t work as well.
- Need to go where “the puck is going” instead of where it’s been. Get back to basics of selling.
3 Types of Amazon Sellers
- Ignorance Sellers: Try stuff without much strategy, hope for the best.
- Arrogant Sellers: Copy competitors thinking they know better.
- Vigilant Sellers: Build on consumer insights and real selling fundamentals.
Understanding the Amazon Algorithm
- BERT algorithm understands search intent, customer persona/journey better.
- Search results will be tailored more to individual searcher.
- Recommendations are already customised to user. Search will follow.
- Amazon wants to match real world experience better.
Adapting to the Changes
Can still succeed in saturated market with the right approach: know your customer + selling fundamentals.
The Iceberg Analogy
- Most fighting happening “above water” on Amazon right now.
- By going deeper below surface there is calm and less competition.
- This represents focusing on consumer insights and the lost art of selling.
Video Lesson from Jordan Belfort on Selling
- Understand your consumer thoroughly
- Know their persona, journey stage, needs
- Ask pointed questions
- Craft sales pitch
- Develop products to match
- Optimise listings for buyer-focused messaging
- Start selling in the right way
The Scientific Method for Amazon Listings
- Ask questions
- Research to find answers
- Form hypotheses
- Test with experiments
- Analyse results
- Repeat until find winning formula
- Implement in listing
Key Questions to Ask
- What problem are you solving?
- What are alternate solutions/products?
- What are the customer objections, drivers, preferences?
- Get multiple people involved.
- Spend hours diving into data.
- Come up with creative hypotheses.
Develop Listing Theme
Focus on winning the click, converting the customer, countering objections.
Weave together into cohesive theme for listing.
Test and Validate
- Try different creative variations.
- Tools like Intellivy can help with robust testing.
- Make sure hypothesis proves true before investing in new listing.
Case Study: Dollar Shave Club
Upstart disrupted market by simplifying down to core job of razors – conveniently replace dull blades monthly.
Didn’t get caught in feature arms race. Addressed root consumer frustration.
Types of Amazon Shoppers
Different groups have different needs. Most sellers focus only on “need based” shoppers.
But many other opportunities exist. Be creative.
Connect on an Emotional Level
- Surface features don’t create enough certainty and trust.
- Tap into beliefs, objections, and emotions.
- Storytelling and visual patterns are powerful.
Focus on the Buyer, Not You or the Product
- Avoid self-focused messaging.
- Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Talk to them directly.
Execute the Lost Art of Selling
- Go below the surface noise on Amazon.
- Dig deep into consumer insights.
- Master stories, emotions, and relationships.
- This creates real connection and converts browsers into loyal buyers.