How High-Volume Amazon Sellers Beat Their Competitors Webinar

 

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On March 8th, 2018 our own Andrew Maff sat down with Jordan Schanzer, Head of Growth at Informed (formally Appeagle) to talk about how to defeat Amazon competitors once and for all. They discussed everything from fully optimizing listings to stand out from the crowd to PPC campaigns with certain keywords to set-up so you can not only block out your competitors but also take away from their market share and so much more!

 

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TRICKS OF THE TRADE: HOW HIGH-VOLUME AMAZON SELLERS ARE BEATING THEIR COMPETITORS from Andrew Maff

Andrew Maff:                       All right, so thank you everyone for joining us. My name is Andrew. I have Jordan of Informed/Appeagle, which we'll talk about. Thank you for joining us. This is the Tricks of the Trade, How High Volume Amazon Sellers are Beating their Competitors. Obviously, we're going to talk about Amazon competitors and how they are growing more and more into being a big pain especially as a lot of these Chinese sellers are starting to get more and more involved in the industry and they're starting to really eat up some of the market share everyone's got. We're going to talk about how to solve some of those problems.

Myself, I am Andrew Maffetone. I've put Andrew Maff because it fits. I'm the director of marketing and operations over at Seller’s Choice. I've been doing this for a very, very long time. I've been in Amazon specifically for a very long time, probably about 10 years now is when I first started doing something on Amazon whether it was marketing or just back when Amazon first started. Big on digital marketing. We help out e-commerce sellers with all their marketing aspects. I like to close with that I'm married and love a good glass of whiskey. If that's not the reason I like whiskey but it's in there. How about you, Jordan? You want to tell us a little about yourself?

Jordan Schanzer:               Yeah. I'm also married and I also love whiskey, so I don't know about the no relation part but we'll leave that up to the imagination. No, just a joke in case my wife's listening.

Andrew Maff:                       Hi, honey.

Jordan Schanzer:               Hi, honey. I’m here at the office not talking about anything. Jordan Schanzer. I'm the head of growth over at Appeagle, which is now informed.co as of yesterday. Just to give you a little bit of background, we'll talk about informed.com and why the rebrand in a little bit, but background on me, big into new media marketing and digital marketing much like Andrew. I enjoy scaling businesses, specifically e-commerce businesses and basically via the use of price management software and strategic price management, seeing how large we could grow these e-commerce businesses. Hobbies are extreme sports, specifically wakeboarding and snowboarding. Because of the harsh winters we've been getting in the northeast, I’m shying more and more away from the snowboarding aspect. It's just getting too cold out here.

Andrew Maff:                       Yeah? Don’t worry. You usually go east coast, you go west coast?

Jordan Schanzer:               It's so hard to get out west, and it's so bad to ski out east so I’m moving more into wakeboarding. Let’s just say that.

Andrew Maff:                       Oh, yeah. Makes sense. All right. I think you were going to tell us a little about why the switch.

Jordan Schanzer:               Yeah, sure. Guys, this is an exciting time. Appeagle is now informed.co, so super exciting time for us after almost a decade of functioning as Appeagle, we've realized that it's time to align our brand with our vision more closely and what we aim to provide to our clients long term. As some of you may know and some of you may not know, we’re a price management software, and we make millions of price adjustments each day on behalf of our clients. We're going to start putting all of that data that we've been collecting to good use in the forms of insights, reporting, pricing, inventory, and product sourcing based decisions, and so insured, we aim to help our sellers be the most informed sellers within the market. We felt that name is more befitting to what we're doing currently and what we're trying to do.

Almost immediately, what that means for you guys is a beautiful new website for informed.co, which you could go visit today up and running continued advancement in our repricing algorithms and strategies, and our entrance into putting more informed information in the hands of our sellers in the forms of seller analytics, et cetera. Stay tuned on that and more for private label sellers and repricing management on the horizons as well. We're just super excited. This is a really big time for us and the company and we're excited for you guys to join in on this journey with us.

Andrew Maff:                       Beautiful. I love a good rebranding. We ironically actually just rebranded a little bit and we do have a new site coming but ours isn't live yet, so go check out informed.co. Give us a week or two before you go to sellerschoice.agency. All right, let's get started. Let's talk about why we're actually here, why we're all talking about all these pesky Amazon competitors. They're getting worse and worse and I can tell because all of our clients reach out to us day in and day out about new people who are coming in and they're getting involved, so obviously, I wanted a team up here with the good buddy Jordan and figure out what it is that’s going on and sit down if we can shine some light on the whole situation.

Obviously, if you're joining us, there's a good chance you're having an issue with some Amazon competitors so we're going to sit here and we're going to walk through everything and try to explain the best ways for you to start to shoo them away. If you have any questions, feel free to comment at any point in time on this webinar. I know you're all on Facebook live right now, so just comment below and we will do everything we can to answer them throughout the webinar. I mentioned a little earlier, there's a bit of a lag so bear with us if we don't get to it right away. If you're liking the webinar, things are going well, make sure to like the post. Go like Seller’s Choice and of course, go like Informed. Is it Informed on your Facebook page now?

Jordan Schanzer:               Yeah, it is.

Andrew Maff:                       All right, good. Go like Informed. If you're here, there's a good chance you're extremely good looking. It seems likely to me so that's why we put that there.

Jordan Schanzer:               Yeah, and we love tangents so, yeah, like Andrew said, a good distraction question never hurt anyone so please interact with us. We really appreciate that.

Andrew Maff:                       We’re going to be in here for a little while. Even if you want to throw us a question that's not related like Jordan's snowboarding skills, well, maybe we'll get into that a little bit.

Jordan Schanzer:               Sure.

Andrew Maff:                       Towards the end, of course, we're going to have a Q&A. If we aren't able to get to all the questions, we'll definitely try to get to all of them then. What is a good webinar without a couple giveaways, so I have a couple of things to give away, so thus Jordan here, so we will touch base on that in a little while. Let's get this thing started. Let's touch on these competitors that are all over Amazon. Some of them may be hijacking your listings. Some of them may be eating up some of your market share. Some of them may be sending you nasty letters just because they can. Who knows, but we're going to touch base on as much as we can here, and see what we can't do about slowing the process down of them constantly being on your heels.

We're going to go through a bunch of stuff, a lot of which … Sorry. What happened there? A lot of which will be on page, on your product listing stuff, some things off the product listing. We’ll obviously go into specialties of mine, specialties of Jordan’s, and some things that we're both just, we're both really good at. Sometimes, it's difficult to talk about these without sounding so humble, but we're going to touch base. I know Jordan and I can both chime in a little bit about how we have some experience with some of these high-volume sellers that are doing well into eight figures and what they're doing to kind of keep the competition away.

We'll touch base on all these things as we go through, so obviously, we're going to start off here with good old-fashioned listing optimization. A lot of this stuff is the basic stuff. If you're here and you have competitors on Amazon, there's a good chance you already know the basics of this stuff, but there are ways to keep your competitors out. I'm going to touch on this. Jordan, obviously, please feel free to butt in even if you disagree. I'd love to hear everyone's insight and obviously, if you guys have questions.

Titles, very basic stuff. It used to be plug as much content into these titles as you can and the more and more we've tested, the more we've kind of seen that Amazon's actually shying away from that. In fact, I think it's 50 characters now, is kind of where Amazon stops indexing titles. Titles are really becoming more of just to get them to open the listing.

Images are your big place where you can really differentiate yourself from these competitors. Adding your own brand logo, adding your own color scheme, adding some severe branding to it, having great quality images, these are things that will really show your product the best and actually be able to differentiate you from others without having the same generic photo because if you have the same photo as your competitor, if they're beating you on price, they're probably going to take you out anyway.

Bullet points. From what we know right now, the first bullet point is the only place that Amazon it is indexing in bullet points anymore, so we always suggest to go very keyword-heavy on that first bullet point. However, the rest of them are there for the consumer, so if you can, use those bullet points to touch on, A, obviously reasons that they should purchase your product, but B, why you're different than your competitor. A way that we kind of like to do things is go to your competitor’s listings and see what all their negative reviews are.

If they're like, “Oh, this product, this phone case is not that hard. It broke my phone like 20 times," or something like that, you can go in there and be like, “Much harder than our competitor’s, much more sturdy, guaranteed to not break your screen,” or something like that. You can actually go through and focus on the things that people are complaining about in the other one because if they go to a competitor and it's negative, they may leave and come back and see that yours is actually better and solving the problem that the other one’s not doing.

Product description, this is another great place to touch on that. If you're doing enhanced brand content or A+ content, for those of you who don't know, your product description is still indexed even though you can't see it on your listing. It does still need to be filled out in the backend but this is another great place for you to be able to input a lot of information and then in an enhanced brand content and A+ content, we always suggest having a comparison, so you versus them. However, you can't have a picture of your competitor. That's against Amazon's rules.

What we like to do is do and us with a picture and what we have versus them and just have the text. That really will show what the differences are between you and your competitor without getting in trouble by Amazon. This is a great place for a ton of branding as well, which we’ll touch on branding in a little bit, but those are the basic overview of the easiest stuff for you to kind of differentiate yourself with listing optimization from you versus your competitor.

You do these. You plow through these slides and now, I'm like out of breath after the first one. We got this. Review generation. This one is pretty obvious. We're always trying to find more reviews. As far as we know, Amazon's algorithm is really focused on reviews. The next few things down are obviously the amount of orders, and then engagement, as well as traffic. Your conversion rate tends to play a role as well from what we can tell.

To make sure that you're increasing your reviews, we use Feedback Genius. We are not a partner of Feedback Genius. We do not work with Seller Labs in any way, shape, or form. We just like them so we use their stuff. We use this to set up the automated emails. There's a couple different ways to set these kind of emails up to increase the reviews. Obviously, the more reviews you have, the more traction you're going to get.

Most people will purchase by looking at images, and then going straight to the reviews. They're going to skip over your product title. There's a good chance they're going to skip over your bullet points and your product description. They're just going to go straight to see what everyone else is saying because they know that you're biased, so if you can increase the product reviews and tweak the copy to make it sound like, “Hey, you're really helping us out and I'm a nice guy, you should help me out,” kind of thing, then you can actually get more positive reviews.

The way we set up these reviews is typically, the most basic way we usually set these reviews specifically through Feedback Genius is actually setting up four emails. Two of which are an A/B test for out for delivery. What we’ll do is we’ll A/B test the subject. We’ll let it run for about a month, and then see which one's working better. Then, we'll obviously use that one and then maybe we'll A/B test the copy or something like that. This is very simple. This is just, “Hey, your order’s out.”

Okay, let's focus on … I don't have anything on my desk. Let's focus on the phone again. You have a phone case. You can send out a, “Hey, your product’s out for delivery. We hope you enjoy it, blah, blah, blah. Here's a bunch of great ways that you can keep your phone clean,” or, “Here's the top five favorite apps that we have,” or, “Here's a warranty that we had mentioned in our product listing.” Those are all certain ways of just giving them extra information. When they open the email, they go, “Oh, great. It's out for delivery and I got some new information,” and you asked for nothing. This is not the space to ask for a review. You just let it go.

The reason is they're more inclined to open this email because it's your out for delivery email and then, they might actually be more inclined to open the next email because they know the last one, they weren't asked to do anything. This is where you can start asking for reviews. Give them a little more extra information and then ask them for a review. Let them know, “Hey.” It sounds better if it sounds like it's coming from a person kind of like an Etsy approach. Etsy, usually you buy from a person, very rarely an actual company. In this case, if you say, “Hey, I'm Andrew. I'm the co-founder of hardphonecovers.com.” Don't say dotcom. That's against Amazon’s TOS. “I'm the founder of Hard Covers for Phones.”

I don't know. Bear with me, but you can personalize it. Make it sound like it's coming from a person and make it sound like, “Hey, you're really helping me out if you can just write a review.” Give them a link straight to the review place. Make it super easy, but instead of saying let me know your thoughts, say something along the lines of, “If you really enjoyed the product, I would love it if you could write a review and tell everyone how much you really enjoyed it. If you didn't like the review, here's our contact link.”

There, they can actually think, “Okay, I have a negative response here. I'm going to contact them and tell them.” Yes, they may fight for a new product or discount or something like that. You can deal with that. Your customer service can deal with that but that way, you're encouraging positive reviews and discouraging negative reviews. Then, wait a few days and send a follow-up if they haven't given you a review yet. That's where you can just go straight to like, “Hey, we'd like a review. If you have any problems, then contact us,” kind of thing. That's the way that you can really encourage positive reviews and try to deter the negative ones and have them go to customer service and let them deal with it instead of it going to your listing and you have to fight with them all the time.

Jordan Schanzer:               Yeah. I like how you touched on the personalization aspect of things as it pertains to emails and the A/B testing of the first email, but you can continue to optimize these things for optimal feedback counts. I know Feedback Genius gives you a pretty nice dashboard, which tells you what percentage of the emails are basically reflecting or directly contributing to a review. The personalization and an A/B testing together really work well. I think one A/B test that you should definitely run is what you were trying to say before about like small business, maybe small business versus large business and how you come across.

If you're really super personal and you're just starting out your business, you may want to go with the message that’s kind of honest and straight to the point. “Hey, these reviews mean the world to us and really appreciate it. As a small business, the best service you could do to us is leave a review for us because that will really help as a small business, and we'll grow and really appreciate that.” That versus a more corporate email would be a really good A/B test.

Andrew Maff:                       Yeah. I absolutely agree. Another thing as well in that is, yeah, you can you can test a subject line. You can test a certain copy. You can test how you're asking for a review and that's a great point, so actually, you could test whether it works sounding as a big business or if it works sounding as a small. I guess it might be a little more dependent on what your product line is. If you have a couple really personalized kind of items, then it might work better if you go the more personal route, but some of the bigger businesses, you're right. I like that.

Another thing that we actually do as well as you can see here, which I don't even mentioned on the on the images here, is that we do branding and make sure that it's branded as your store. That can't link to your store. It can't have a website on it. It can't link out away from Amazon. What it can do is show your brand, show your logo, and start to build the branding of your company, in which case is our perfect segue into branding.

One thing we've always noticed is that some of these really big sellers, and I mean those guys who have eight, nine figures on Amazon a year are just killing it all the time and then you go to their listing and you're the one that is trying to catch up to them, but you look at their listing and it's just garbage. There's no information. There's like one image and the fact is that they just have great branding off Amazon. People have seen their brand on social media. They've gotten their emails. They've been to their site. They have bought some other stuff in retail. They're just a well-known brand.

The fact is it's all about the branding. No matter how much you optimize your listings, you're going to slowly grow and you're going to get up there and you could be a top seller especially if you're a new product, but if you're fighting to really get to competing basically with someone who's selling a very similar product, it's going to come down to everything that you do off Amazon. That comes down to your website and your social media. Are you doing things to really engage your customers and keep your brand in front of them at all times?

I know when you have an Amazon store and you just have an Amazon store, which is some of these sellers, it's difficult. You don't want to start a social media because it's time-consuming. You don't want to do an email list because how are you going to gain the emails? There's a lot of issues with it and it's a lot more work, but this is how these guys are growing. This is how they're getting so big. You will start to get people who come to your site. If you have your own site, they'll come to your site to buy your product, and then they may go look on Amazon to see if they can get it there cheaper. Guess what, chances are most of the time, they can and unfortunately, it's the nature of the beast right now. There's not what you can do.

However, what you can do is make sure that you give them the two options and you're still getting that sale. If you can brand your products so that they know that's your product on Amazon … In this case, we have right up here on the top left, we have one of our old clients and these guys are past clients of ours as well, where we made sure that their logo and their color scheme are as much on the listing as possible so that their stores and their websites off of Amazon are all cohesive.

You want everything to look the exact same so that as you're building your brand, no matter where your customer is, they're going to buy from you. Same rule goes for if you're on eBay or if you're on Walmart or if you're on Jet. The most you can do to really help would be adding your logo somewhere within your product. Even if it's on secondary images or if it's anywhere else, it is the best way for you to really expand your branding on Amazon.

The next thing we have here is PPC campaigns. These are very obvious for those of you who are already running PPC campaigns. You have your basic sponsored product ads, you have your headline ads, so obviously, you can target your specific competitors if you want to go after the competitors and start to knock them down a notch. You can use them as a keyword. You can use a broad keyword. Again, if I'm selling phone cases and I'm Andrew’s Hard Phone Cases and Jordan here is Jordan’s Hard Phone Cases, I can run an ad that says phone cases, and it's just a broad match, broad match keyword and it will go after Jordan’s Phone Cases as well.

However, if I want to get really competitive and I want to go after them, I can do an exact match of Jordan's Hard Phone Cases and I can start to really go after the people who are trying to go after them. Most of the time here, we're talking about defense where we're talking about keeping the competitors away and keeping them at a distance. Here, we're talking about offense. We're talking about going after them. Now, we're talking about starting to take away from some of their market share. We're talking about really getting on top of them, and another way you can do that would be these headline ads where you can see right here … I'm a Steelers fan if you guys haven't noticed. This is kind of why I grabbed all this information here.

There’s Ben Roethlisberger memorabilia and collectibles. If you don't know, that's editable you can make an anything you want. You can't use your competitor’s name. It's against Amazon's TOS. They probably will not approve that. However, if you can find a way to sneak in there something, so in my case, I could put high quality hard phone cases, and I can go after Jordan's Hard Phone Cases. Now, I'm assuming, I'm putting out the assumption that my phone cases are hard and I'm going to mix these up all day or high quality, and I can start to take away from Jordan's Hard Phone Cases.

You can't do top, so I couldn't do like top of the line. I can't do best. I can't do the number one hard phone case. You can't do something that is not up to you to decide but we have done high quality a million times. We've done durable and things like that. Those are all words that still work and really kind of can give that little extra to really turn the sale over and get them to click into the headline ads.

The other nice thing with headline ads, which, A, you have to have brand registry for, which I totally forgot to mention but there it is. The other thing is if you click on that headline ad, so if I clicked on this guy right here, basically what would happen is it's going to take me to … Most of time, it’s going to take me to a page where it's just those products from that seller. If you can get them to click into your headline ad, there's a better chance that they're going to convert through one of your products than if they're going to convert through a competitor's product, because the competitor's product isn't going to be visible, so it’s not going to be anywhere. Again, this is playing offense. This is going after the competitor and trying to take them down a notch.

The next option is one of my favorites, is the product display ads. If you have Vendor Central, you get access to AMS or Amazon Marketing Services, and you can do product display ads until Amazon releases this in Seller Central. I don't like Vendor Central. It's a pain. No one wants to sell to Amazon because then they set the price and it's ugly and it's an opinion. I'm sorry. I don't like it, but what I do suggest is if you can sell to Amazon just once, get them to approve it, get access to Vendor Central, get access to AMS, then never sell to Amazon again, now you have access to AMS and you can use things like product display ads in which case, the best thing to do here is you can actually take your ASN. I would take the ASN for Andrew’s Hard Phone Cases and I would be able to take Jordan’s ASN for Jordan’s Hard Phone Cases and put it into product display ads and go after their specific ASN.

Now, this ad right here, this big one would show up right underneath the Buy Box. What's going to happen is someone's going to go to click and then they're going to go, “Oh, wait. There's an ad down here that is the exact same product at a lower rate or they're claiming that they're extremely durable and Jordan’s negative …” I'm sorry I'm talking so much trash about your business, man but-

Jordan Schanzer:               Yeah. [inaudible 00:26:09] my product. You haven't given me a chance.

Andrew Maff:                       If all of Jordan’s reviews were negative and I see that those negative reviews are about the durability, I could put extremely durable underneath his and then, I'm probably going to get that sale over him. I'm starting to go after each competitor. The nice thing is you can put in as many competitors as you want into one campaign. I can pick one ASN and then just do a campaign for as many competitors as I want and take up their listing. Now-

Jordan Schanzer:               Amazon would be the seller on that where that ad’s pushing to or after the first time that I sell to Amazon through Vendor Central, I get access to this entire platform and then I can push to my own products that I'm selling via Prime or something like that?

Andrew Maff:                       Yep. You can do it all on your own through Seller Central. Once you've done it once, then you get access to AMS and you're just in AMS for life. You basically can get in.

Jordan Schanzer:               What a hack.

Andrew Maff:                       At least that's how they have it right now. What we always suggest to seller is like, “Hey, like the bullet ones, you're going to make money by selling to Amazon. It's not going to be as much as you want. You're going to make money. Sell the Amazon. Get access to AMS and then run these ads underneath.” That's offense. There is a defensive side to this. Let's say I have this ASN where in this case, this is orange. I want to run an ad for this orange one. I can run an ad for this orange one underneath one of my other ASNs. Now, I'm blocking out other people from either doing that on my ASNs. Not only am I going into my competitors ASNs and running ads underneath their Buy Box, I'm blocking my own. They may not buy the product that they clicked onto but I'm going to get them to come buy one of my other products.

Jordan Schanzer:               Sure.

Andrew Maff:                       The more I can keep my competitors away and the more I can get involved in their stuff, the better.

Jordan Schanzer:               Yeah, and obviously, you're going to beat out competitors on that because they might be bidding on multiple different competitors and not knowing where they're at and not knowing where the market is but you're willing to pay a higher dollar amount to steal traffic from yourself.

Andrew Maff:                       Exactly. These are a lot more … Product display ads, we always have a lot more trouble really hitting target A cause here. We kind of put them into a different category mainly because you're stealing from your competitor in most cases and in other cases, you're blocking others out we try to go for almost just at least a break-even on these so that way, you're not losing money but you're keeping your competitor out of the way and you're stealing from them. There’s a lot of ways that you can try and get in there and really take away.

Just with the product display ads, they're tough to basically optimize unless you did a campaign for my ASN versus your ASN. Then, another one where my ASN versus someone else’s ASN, then another one from … You could end up having thousands upon thousands of campaigns if you did win after every competitor you have. It's not the easiest way to handle it but it is the more granular approach where you could really figure out which ones are converting, which ones aren't.

Jordan Schanzer:               Interesting. The customer experience is obviously a big one. I had mentioned earlier about deterring people from negative reviews. If you get a negative review, everyone gets really upset about it. It was like, “I have to find a way to get this taken down. I have to … I got to tell Amazon this is fake, something, some way to get them off.” We don't see it that way. We actually see negative reviews as a very positive thing, not in the fact that your product obviously crapped out for whatever reason. It's more in the fact of you now have the opportunity to show how much customer service you have and how quick you can be.

In this first picture I have here, you'll see this review was a month ago, and then the response was also labeled as a month ago. If this was a month ago and then this was like two days ago, people are going to see that and they're going to go, “Oh, they don't respond for a while, blah, blah, blah.” At least in this way, it kind of appears that they got on top of them quick.

Your response, keep in mind, not only are you responding to this person who wasn't happy with their product but you're also responding to a public platform where people are going to be able to read this stuff. They're going to see like, “Hey, this was handled really well. This was done really well. They seem nice. They acknowledged that something was wrong and they're sending them a new one. That way, I feel better about placing this order and if something goes wrong, maybe they'll still be able to help me out.”

That's a big way where you can stay on top of those things. We tend to use SellEx. Again, not a partner of theirs, don't work with them. We just use their stuff because we like it. SellEx does have a nice way of being able to filter out to all the negative reviews, being able to easily respond usually just within SellEx so you don't have to like hunt them down. If you have only a handful of products, it wouldn't really be necessary but if you have hundreds or thousands of products, it does become a lot more necessary to be able to filter that easily. It's typically why we use it.

Like I had mentioned, being very courteous and being nice, even if the review is insane and it makes no sense like someone ordered my hard phone case and they sent me gum, like no, we didn't. We did not send you gum. We sent you a hard phone case, but I'm sorry you had a mix-up. We’d love to, if we can, to help and if you can have … Don't sound like a robot. Have some flavor to it. Give it some love. Throw in like a smiley face or an LOL in there like. Make it seem like you're a real person who's actually trying to just help out, and be like, “Oh, I'm sorry. This happens every now and then kind of thing,” but that's the best way to really show that your brand is not just screwing around selling stuff and then stopping caring.

Jordan Schanzer:               Yeah. No, that's a good point. I mean, in a lot of cases, to weed through some of it at times, it gets really complicated and drains on you as a seller, these reviews and the way that people just fire off emails without any thought. I've seen instances where people are getting just completely unrelated, the same thing that you were talking about with gum or whatever it may be. It’s really ridiculous.

Andrew Maff:                       Yeah. Sometimes, [crosstalk 00:32:48].

Jordan Schanzer:               They just don’t know or they got something and they assumed since you're in the Buy Box now, well, first bullet point, Buy Box now, that you're the one who sold it to them, message you and I’m like, “We didn't even have an order with you. Please reach out to that person.” Just be patient. There is another person on the other end of that line. Sometimes, you'll be able to get through to them. Sometimes, they'll even be courteous in return. Just keep a level head and hopefully, you have the right people on staff to help you out with your customer service, somebody who's happy all the time.

Andrew Maff:                       There you go.

Jordan Schanzer:               All right. Let's talk about automating and optimizing prices a bit. Some of you may know and some of you may not know but Amazon's Buy Box is extremely coveted. I assume that if you're already selling on Amazon, you’d know that some people might say it's 80 plus percent, 85 plus percent. People who, when the Buy Box are actually getting the sale, anything in that realm, it makes sense to me, so sign me up. I also want to be in the Buy Box.

What comes into play when we're talking about factors that will get you into the Buy Box? A lot of the things that Andrew just touched on, your feedback, your PPC, your handling days, which you can affect by streamlining processes and making things go out the door faster, which fulfillment type you're shipping your items with. Are you fulfilling them yourself or are you shipping them into an FBA facility? Those weigh in heavily. Of course, last but not least, one of the most important factors is price.

It's very important to constantly be changing your pricing on an ongoing basis. It's a tedious task. It's a manual task if you don't have any automation behind it, and quite frankly, it's something that you can't pay enough people to do over the course of a 24-hour period especially if you start getting into multiple listings. Moreover, there's emotion in it if you were going to do it yourself and let's just leave the best non-emotional price changes to the computers behind them.

There's a lot of different ways to set up your Repricer to … or price management software to optimize pricing in real time. Price automation technology helps you keep out the emotion, helps you a competitive, will keep you organized because you don't have to be in there manually doing it all the time. It'll help you drive more sales, and if you're using the right software, then it'll keep you selling for a profit. On the next slide, I'll go a little bit further into explaining how to automate the whole thing, beginning to end without ever touching the software after you've created these strategies within the software for the first time.

Okay, so repricing strategies. At minimum, you're going to want to have at least two different strategies depending on whether or not you are selling both ways, Fulfilled by Amazon and merchant fulfilled or FBM. You're going to want to have one strategy for your merchant fulfilled listings that competes against merchant fulfilled competitors in one way, and FBA competitors in a different way. The same for your FBA listings, you're going to want to compete with FBA sellers in one way and merchant fulfilled in a different way.

Your chances of getting the Buy Box from the opposing competitor is different depending on your own fulfillment method, all those other factors, et cetera, et cetera and so you could create different rules or use certain algorithms within this automation software to make sure that you're pricing the right way against the competitors at any given time.

You're also going to want to have multiple different strategies for different functions. You might want to maximize profit at any given time, blow out your inventory for items that are going stale and costing you money, and shift that inventory and dollars to a more profitable and faster moving product that you've identified, or steady and consistent flow might be a different strategy on some of your listings that … replenishables that just sell well, so you're going to probably want to price above in certain instances, match your competitor’s pricing in certain instances, and price below. They all make sense. It just depends on the scenario.

With that said, our most successful sellers are constantly revisiting these strategies and optimizing them for success. When I said be completely hands-off, I mean the automation from certain tools through other tools and then the automated piece of actually repricing based off of your rules and strategies that you've set within the pieces of software, but how you continue to strategize and create these different rules and test different scenarios and mess with your handling time and mess with your competition settings, that, you're going to want to continue to do on an ongoing basis maybe once a week or once every two weeks while you see sales are slipping or strategizing on moving different listings into different competition sets, so that you're matching pricing, pricing above, or pricing below, so that you can blow through inventory, maximize profit, or continue your consistent flow.

Now, I'm going to talk about profit-based minimum and maximum thresholds. This is one way to adjust your goal posts, where you're starting and ending to reprice. You don't want to sell for too low because you'll lose money and you don't want to sell for too high because you won't be competitive. We start every repricing rule with these boundaries, and then we price you in between them based off of the strategies that you've set.

Now, we allow you to set your minimum, maximum thresholds based on the targeted profit that you'd like to make on a listing. At minimum, I'd like my profit to be $5 or 75% or 25% or 30%, however you want it, right? That’s my minimum threshold. At maximum, the same thing. I determine the profit that I'd like to have and then, use my rules in between to adjust the pricing accordingly. All you need to do is input your cost and desired profit, and the system, it will determine exactly where you need to be and reprice you in between those two guidelines.

One of the most important things that I can't stress enough for a seller in general is that you don't want to duplicate work. How many different tasks does a seller do on a daily basis between inventory and product planning and product sourcing and reviews and feedback and PPC and all these other beautiful things that you can outsource to other people, and repricing, price management? There's many moving pieces, and so I really, really want to stress that you don't want to duplicate work as much as possible.

If you're already getting your costs into your ERP or inventory management tool, which I know you are because you need to determine profitability somehow, let's get those costs into Informed, Appeagle, Informed, the API or FTP. Eliminate the step. Why would I put costs into my first point for a software and then go ahead and download a spreadsheet and upload another spreadsheet, put my cost into somewhere else, right? We can automate the whole flow between input your costs into your ERP or inventory tool, automate pulling and pushing of the cost price into our system, and then automate the price of creating your floor and ceilings based off your desired profit. How beautiful is that.

Once we've created the rules, we never have to have a lag time in between when you set a product life and when you actually end up repricing and optimizing that item for maximum sales. I mean, it's just so simple but a lot of sellers are missing this. It's not hard to set up and it's a really an integral part of enabling your Repricer to function in the right way, so that’s-

Andrew Maff:                       Can you-

Jordan Schanzer:               Yeah, go ahead.

Andrew Maff:                       Sorry. Can you use something like this on like a new product launch? Can you set it to lose money just because I know we have a ton of sellers all the time who are always asking about specifically when they're trying to launch a new product and they have a ton of competitors and they have zero reviews because it's a new product, and they need to know how to start it? We always get the question especially with PPC stuff, like what should my target A cost be? Should I target to break-even? Should I target to still make money and do a slow growth, or should I just blow through a bunch of my budget and try to get more reviews and do stuff like that? Is there a way to kind of set this so that you can keep your price really low and then once I get to X, then bring it up a little bit? Can you set tiers? How does that work?

Jordan Schanzer:               Yeah, super simple. You would do exactly that. You would set a few different strategies up within the software with different target profitability above cost, or a dollar amount above cost and that may be one cent above cost, and then you would lose money, for sure. We can help you do that if you want to. I'm not sure I would go to that strategy, but yeah, for sure. For a product launch, that's what we're telling some of our sellers and clients to do, right? Build up the reviews. Do whatever you can to get the product out there so that you can sell more at a higher price. Initially, yeah, absolutely. Groupings of different listings within a certain strategy that targets X profitability and then, after you reach a certain A cost, you wanted to just flip back to a different strategy. It's a matter of a few different clicks within the software. Yeah, simple, simple easy.

Andrew Maff:                       Nice. Cool. All right, how's everybody feeling? You guys doing good? How you doing, Jordan?

Jordan Schanzer:               It was cold in here before. Now, I'm a little hot. I was talking too much.

Andrew Maff:                       Yeah?

Jordan Schanzer:               Anybody else sick of hearing me talk?

Andrew Maff:                       We’d love to know how everyone's feeling. Obviously, we're kind of coming towards the end here. We'll start getting those questions ready. Feel free to start firing them over on Facebook. Right now, I don't have any to answer. We might even make some up. Who knows? This is the first time-

Jordan Schanzer:               This is my first time on Facebook live. I don't even see the likes. Do you see the likes coming through?

Andrew Maff:                       All right, for everyone who's watching this, we're on a different platform technically. We're on Webinarjam, so Jordan, if you look to the right, do you see like the little thing there? You see the Facebook chat?

Jordan Schanzer:               Yeah.

Andrew Maff:                       Click that guy. It will take you to the live Facebook thing that we're doing right now. It's going to have the mic on, so if you do it, turn the sound off on that tab.

Jordan Schanzer:               Okay.

Andrew Maff:                       For everyone who's watching, if you're still there, you guys have … We still got a bunch of people in here. If you guys have any questions, feel free to start sending them over. We got a couple giveaways we're going to do. Listing optimization, key thing on my end, you can do all the PPC you want but if your listing’s not optimized, you're not going to convert and some of your keywords may not even work. This is always the first step. Your listing has to be perfect. It's like the business card of your product. Make it clean. Make it shiny.

We did a listing e-book, of course. It's a full front to back listing optimization e-book. I'm not asking you for your email. I'm not asking for anything. If you just go to Bitly, so bit.ly/listingebook, I'm also going to send out an email a little bit later to everyone who signed up and registered with the link. It's all yours. Have at it. Enjoy it. If there's anything in there you don't like, let me know. Maybe we'll change it. Maybe you're wrong. We'll find out.

Then, of course, a little giveaway. We're doing a 30-minute consultation. Not going to try and sell you anything. I just want to help. Super simple. We'll go through your Amazon business with you. In fact, we'll go through the rest of your e-commerce business with you, if you'd like, and we'll give you a complete consultation on what we think you guys could improve on and what you should be doing actually to solving those problems. It's sellerschoice.agency/giveaway. We put a password on there. It's just competitors. Head over there. Fill that guy out, and we'll talk with any of you. Jordan, I know you guys got some stuff here too.

Jordan Schanzer:               Yeah. We have an e-book for you as well. It's long winded but it'll give you a very, very good overview of repricing on Amazon and all the different factors that sort of go into it and a bunch of different strategies that you might want to test out once you start dipping your feet into repricing or on a continued basis, if you're already repricing somewhere or with us, it might give you some ideas as to how to A/B test your strategies or figure out different ways to make your repricing strategies better, so lots to learn in there from beginner to intermediate and expert. I definitely urge you to check it out.

I'll also give away a 30-minute consultation, but I'll have to send it via email. Yeah, we’ll help you get set up with repricing or at least show you how the new Informed system looks from the inside out, so that you can you can take a test drive of your own, obviously, 14 free trial and I'm sure we can help you in some way or another.

Andrew Maff:                       Nice. I got a little ahead of myself on this slide.

Jordan Schanzer:               This is fun though.

Andrew Maff:                       Hey. We're going to be t Prosper next week. If you guys don't know what that is, it's a big conference in Vegas. Jordan and I are going to be right next to each other. We're going to be booth buddies, so swing by. Come say hi to Jordan, and then I'll interrupt you and then-

Jordan Schanzer:               Trying to put my arm around you.

Andrew Maff:                       Then, come say hi to me, and Jordan will probably come to interrupt you. It’ll be nice. It'll be like a nice little neighbors’ war. We might be throwing stuff at each other if you guys see us. We're in Vegas next week. Is it the … It's not three days. I think we’d go there on the 12th, so it's the 13th and the 14th. Isn't it, I think?

Jordan Schanzer:               I think, yeah. I think there are some-

Andrew Maff:                       When are we going to Vegas?

Jordan Schanzer:               There are some pregame stuff going on like late day probably 12th. Yeah. We're there a little early but people, I think they're opening the floor already late that day.

Andrew Maff:                       Perfect. If anyone's there, feel free to stop by. Come say hi.

Jordan Schanzer:               Definitely.

Andrew Maff:                       We got a bunch of stuff we got going on. You got a trial. What is this?

Jordan Schanzer:               Yeah, that's what we're talking about before. You can go ahead and give it a whirl yourself or you could reach out to success@informed.co and somebody will be happy to help you get on board it.

Andrew Maff:                       Perfect. Jordan, I appreciate it, man. Thanks for coming out.

Jordan Schanzer:               This was great. Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Andrew Maff:                       This is definitely one of the more entertaining ones. Thanks for everyone who joined us. If you're out, we'll see you guys at Prosper. If not, good luck with the competitors. Feel free to reach out to either of us and we'll be glad to help you guys out, but until then, have a good night.

 amazon listing optimization ebook

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