Awesomers.com vs Seller Sessions – Diversifying off Amazon

We welcome back Steve Simonson, Kevin King and Kian Golzari to discuss all types of business models off Amazon and ideas for investments to diversify your risk. Join us in this conversation, whether you are starting your Amazon business or on the Amazon road to building bigger dreams.

Canton “Online” Fair

  • Canton Fair is going online! 
    • The Bad: It is not a good thing because everyone will see the same stuff now. For Amazon sellers it is not a good thing.
    • The Good: You still get to see the products. They have to do it because vendors want it.
  • There are other ways of doing things – the job can still get done.
    • It is a practical move. A face saving move.
    • There is a big difference. 
  • Is Canton Fair over-rated?
    • It is a good place to start  and build your foundations.
    • It is a good entry-point.
  • Canton Fair is an idea generation opportunity. You can develop products from ideas at the fair.
  • At Canton Fair, you get a feel of the products.
  • Canton Fair allows you to see the most number of suppliers under one roof!
    • You don’t have to go to factories individually.
  • Perfect for multi-product sourcing.

Sourcing in the current climates

  • It is not the size of the event, it is how you use it.
  • Start with the context of where you are.
    • Context matters because you can look at another category.
    • The problem may be that you need cash-flow.
    • You need to find buyers at EVERY level. Where do they shop?
    • Context and the why are beginning points.

Recession-proofing your business

  • Coming from a multi-channel from the beginning is ideal and you have an extensive background.
  • If you are just starting off, do not do this if you are new. Focus on one platform only: Shopify or Amazon, etc. Pick one.
    • Master it and expand out.
    • Amazon is the ideal starting point.
  • If people’s money is tied up in inventory, they sell their time on the side to catch up.
    • Learn Amazon and you can leverage that!
    • Others sell courses or software companies.
    • The best thing is to leverage your knowledge base.
    • For example, a lot of mom and pop stores, brick and mortar stores are closing across the globe– go to one and tell them you can put their products out on Amazon or online.
  • PPC Agency model: Sliding model and percentage only.
    • Sliding model is usually $3,000 per month and a percentage of the revenue means the expenses become smaller as your business grows.
    • Percentage only: you can literally spend months to years building someone else’s business, and when the expenses come in as $10,000 they start to get a little wary of that.
    • The Hybrid model  works best: half of the initial fees plus higher percentage on the sliding scale.
    • Managing account is not a service offered. It is PPC only.
  • EBay came up with the online listing with percentage of sales. That is  a great PR BUT only a few are able to do that.
    • The skill set is necessary to make it work for the sellers.
  • TIP: Look at Amazon and see what products you’d like to sell, look around and source them.

Increasing distribution?

  • Have alternative channels.
    • Yes, there are alternatives.
    • Learn those platforms and master how to drive revenue in.
    • It is not as easy as Amazon.
  • Having a 3PL is one of the key pieces to make that work.
    • Get another site.
    • Not advisable if you have only one product.
    • TIP: If you have consumable product worth $30 and above, then it will be a better deal for you compared to having a $12.99 product. The numbers will not work.
    • Anything less than $30 is not possible. Look at the acquisition costs!
    • Another way is to upsell a product.
  • If you have only one product — do not use Shopify, put it in a funnel.
  • Learn the anatomy of a landing page.
    • You want one entrance in and have one way out.
    • Use Google Analytics.
  • Know your propensity to risks and what is your cash flow available?
  • Retail model is not effective at this time but licensing still works.
  • Create your content, how do you send traffic their? How do you pick up quality traffic?
    • Now is the time to pick up influencers, they are coming in cheap at this time.

What you can start with

  • Do something, not nothing.
    • Certain categories are down but others are up.
    • Find a way to solve things uniquely.
    • Progress is better than nothing.
  • Spend 40 to 60 hours: learn about landing pages.
    • Conversion Excel Blog: https://cxl.com/blog/
      • For each product allow $300 and use this for tests for optimisation.
    • Go learn how to do Facebook.
    • Learn affiliate links. You will learn patterns and you can pivot.
  • If you have something that people want. Figure out how you can out it in front of them.
  • If money is tight but you have a thousand customer list, leverage that.
  • There are so many things to do. Get creative about it.
  • Your Shopify site and your web site are the same thing.

International reviews

  • There is an option to show international reviews.
  • Brand registry, if you are not the owner but you can have them use EU trademark to register their product in the US.
    • They have to respond to a few emails from Amazon on your behalf to get them registered.
  • You have to opt in to see product reviews from your US store to UK store or vice versa.

Investment advice from the experts

  • Do not try to be more clever than the world.
  • Do not believe in easy-money.
  • Stay conservative when investing outside your expertise.
  • New partnerships: options and deals
    • Good things happen when you put together people who have the money and people who have talent
    • Define the accountabilities and responsibilities.
    • Define the expectations and percentages.
    • 70/30 – division.
  • Shotgun clause: forces parties to bring an offer that they themselves will accept.  A way to settle all potential disputes.

Improving on your competitor’s products?

  • Get a sample of your competitor’s product and see how you can improve it.
  • Easiest way: find out where your competitor is having their product manufactured and source it from their.
    • That factory’s workers already have the expertise on creating the product.
    • You benefit out of their economy of skills.
  • Look at Amazon and look at the top 10 products and download all the reviews, use Helium10.
    • Find the pattern in the reviews.
    • Improve the product using the reviews
  • R and D: Rip-off and Duplicate
    • RDI is better: rip-off, duplicate and innovate.
    • How well do you do it?
    • Can you differentiate it and make it better?
    • Do your market research get feedback from real people.
  • if you are going to rip off a mold make sure it is not design patented in their home market.
    • Put logo on your molds.
    • Note: Molds do not last forever. It has a lifespan.
    • if you are in the clothing industry, you can put fabric designs that will differentiate your product.
  • Market research during the pandemic?
    • Results are skewed.
    • Look at the data before the pandemic.
    • Same time last year.

Tips from the experts

  • Double down on e-commerce. 
  • Sell your time
  • Low on cash? use your skill sets.
  • Buy low and sell high! Get those influencers.
  • Discipline yourself to get better 1% per day.
  • Imporve the elader to improve the business

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SellerSessions LIVE — Tickets SOLD OUT!

Send Danny an email to get on the wait list: Danny@SellerSessions.com

About SellerSessions 2020

  • Our venue this year: The David Game Keynote Theatre, with tiered seating.
  • This year we are supporting a charity and a portion of the proceeds will be given to  Tomy’s pioneering studies for prevention of babies born asleep: https://www.tommys.org/
  • We will give away 5 FREE tickets for single-parent Amazon sellers. If you know anyone please get in touch to get the details.
  • Confirmed speakers and more to come:
    • Brandon Young
    • Dr Yev Marusenko
    • Destaney Wishon
    • Zack Franklin
    • Nadine Schöpper
    • Liran Hirschkorn
    • Ivelin Demirov 
    • Dr Ellis Whitehead
    • Paul Harvey 
    • And yours truly, Danny McMillan. I will be hosting the show and speaking on a topic.

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