2017 ASD IMA Session Notes

The notes I took from ACE were so popular, here are my notes from the IMA sessions at ASD. 

Robyn johnson – Systems to Scale, Monday, 3PM
  • Clear action plan, then execute
  • Weekly KPI (key performance indicators)
    • What are some example kpis? Revenue? Order number? Sourcing number? Hours spent?
  • Inventory Rules
    • Don’t buy less than x % roi. Don’t buy more than x stock with x turnover, etc. sales rank, etc.
    • bestfromthenest.com/calc
  • Break Even, Cash Flow
    • Watch your fixed expenses
  • Spend Goals
    • How much you need to spend per week to grow
  • BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) –
    • Goal planning and ANALYZING + ADJUSTING GOALS
    • Book recommendations
      • Good to great
      • 10x
  • You need to outsource D:< WHAT IS YOUR TIME WORTH? Then you can’t spend 4 hours packing boxes a week!
  • Discipline is freedom
  • If you’ve done over $40k on Amazon, plan a vacation, so you can figure out what you need to outsource and what you’d like to still do
  • The only way to give yourself a raise as an entrepreneur is to get more efficient
  • Tasks to outsource
    • Data entry
      • Matching price lists
      • Report download and formatting
    • Vendor contact
      • Initial Email to Vendors
      • Gathering contact information
    • Product Descriptions
      • WritersAccess.com
      • Are there any Amazon copywriting services?
    • Amazon Administration
      • Reimbursements & Refunds
      • Monthly Inventory Evaluation
      • Suppressed Listings
  • Why Upwork
    • Payment is handled, 1099
    • Screenshots of them working every 15 mins
    • You can share passwords through Lastpass?
    • Reviews – vetted
    • Huge pool of candidates
  • Don’t give them all 10 steps- do 1 step at a time. Walk them through it, slowly and surely.
  • GIVE TRIAL ASSIGNMENT FOR TEST HIRES – test 5 at a time?
    • Looking for who does it quickly with high quality
  • Rev.com
  • Jing-TechSmith for screen recording
    • If you can’t create a 5 min video for a task – your task is too big
  • Post the job on Upwork
    • Easter Egg – what’s your favorite color, dog. Doesn’t answer
    • Simple Task
    • Audition Task – Will pay them for audition. Will take best 3. And then second layer task- second audition. Work for a week or two.
  • ** Bad boyfriend effect – the more you spend time with him, the more you want to make it work.
  • Robyn scans price sheets at trade shows and sends to VAs, they analyze and input in analyzable format, sends it back to her, she can act on data within 24 hours
    • Robyn also sources by name in addition to UPC
  • Don’t hire anyone you can’t fire.
    • Hire a friend of a friend – know them enough so they won’t steal from you, but if you fire them, you’re not banned from parties
  • Firing – “It doesn’t look like you’re happy in this position. I want you to be happy. What can I do to help you be happy?”
    • I want to quit. Please let me hire someone else. – PERFECT.
  • Junglescout – PRO
  • Scope
  • Inventorylab
  • Average
    • Pricechecker
    • Scansheet
Cynthia Stine – Why Good Amazon Sellers Get Shut Down: Fake Goods, Stolen Inventory, and Product Quality Problems – egrowthpartners.com
    • Code of Conduct – Account shutdowns- Cynthia has not been able to get ANY back
    • Brand Approval and Locking- fees for brand approval are going to go up and more brands will be gated
      • If you’re a brand and you go to Amazon legal- can you get your brand gated?
      • So if I somehow magically get ungated in major brands now- will I keep it?
    • Direct-to-manufacturer
    • Exclusives, Private Label
      • Offering A+ content?
      • Amazon exclusives
    • Copyright Infringement
      • Appeal – invoices not receipts. Invoices direct from manufacturers
      • First couple, shut down listing
        • If it’s your first time, a detailed receipt will probably work
        • More than 3 in a 6 month period, or more than 5 in a year- you will be suspended.
      • But then, shut down account
      • Not resolved until lawyer A- responds back to Amazon saying everything’s ok
    • Five things you can do today to avoid account suspension
      • Buy inventory from Amazon-approved sources
        • If you can’t prove it came direct from a manufacturer then it’s not cool. You need manufacturer invoices.
        • Ask, where did this come from?
      • Make your listings compliant:
        • Read Amazon style guide..
        • If you fix listings to be compliant with style guide- you get secret more time in buy box?!!!!!!
      • Listen to what the buyer is telling you
      • Know the rules/restrictions
        • Seller Central Help – restriction for categories and products
      • Take responsibility and be proactive
        • Don’t be considered a slow learner- be a good partner
        • It’s my responsibility, fix the problem, what are you going to do about it
    • Importers, discounters, distributors, retailers sell you goods that they don’t have permission to RESELL? — but can’t anyone resell a good?!
    • Acceptable invoices
      • No proforma, no commercial invoices
      • Amazon keeps a database of invoices
      • Get a letter from your supplier. I have been selling for 20 years and I am authorized to resell these products – give permission for these brands for this company.
    • Keep very short inventory turnover!!
    • China understands volume and distribution. They can do million per month within months.
    • Amazon.com on a listing can be 1PL sellers?
    • Dropshippers on Amazon upload entire catalogs on Amazon and create new listings?!!
JohnLawson.com – http://www.johnlawson.com/scoreslides/
  • Brands that are doing amazing in social. Brand represents the beliefs of their customers. Symbiotic relationship.
  • Patagonia ?
  • Zenni
  • More Leads, better engagement
  • Facebook contests? Woobox, shortstack, heyo?
  • Outdated info? Isn’t informercial shitty facebook videos better?
  • Places to get influencer marketing:
    • Famebit.com – little marketplace, you put up your needs, they respond, and pick the winner.
    • Grapevinelogic.com – get sponsored
    • Brandbacker.com  – you wanna get pewdiepie
  • CRM tools
    • Salesforce pardot
    • Infusionsoft – confusing at first but powerful.
    • Insightly
    • Hubspot
    • Salesmanago – marketing automation **
    • ActiveCampaign
    • OntraPort
  • Different types of Facebook ads
    • The longer time people spend on your ad, the more likely it is to be shown to other people
    • GIFs, carousels, videos
  • Earned traffic
  • Shitty video – 300k views – How to fold a bandana

1PM – Super Seller Panel – Robyn, Eddie, John, Barbara 

    • Software
      • Calend.ly – to set up appointments with vendors at tradeshows
    • Sales tax
      • Only collect in your state
      • Do not collect in all 50 states yet. Eddie is closing in on 8 figures and Eddie’s cpa set up and collects all sales tax for him.
      • John: When that federal mandate comes – I’ll be first in line.
    • If you want to make some extra cash- used stuff animals on ebay :p
    • Can you sell your business?
      • Do you have processes in place?
      • You can’t sell a business that you can’t replicate processes or relationships
    • Moving from RA to wholesale
      • Took 3 weeks for them to read unsuspension email
      • Started going to trade shows. Build relationships. Understand your products. If green, yellow, orange, are selling great individually, bundle it
  • Reinvest your profits.. Started small and amped up.
    • Streamline operations- make sure your machine is running. Then dedicate 25% of your time to moving into a new operation and creating new processes.
    • If you came to ASD to source- you need to talk to at least 500 vendors. There’s 3000 vendors.
    • Delayed gratification in wholesale.
      • How many vendors have you contacted this week?
      • How many price lists have you analyzed this week?
      • How many orders have you made this week?
    • When speaking to vendors – Eddie asks what they need first. Then he edits his pitch according to what they need.
      • ** Inventory Churn
        • How long is it going to take me to recoup that $5000?
        • If i can turn $5000 into $7500- 3 years- bad. $5000 into $75,000 in 1 year. Maybe.
        • Look at your inventory churn weekly – if your sales aren’t increasing every week
          • Look at your inventory health report.
    • For protecting your price. Enforce MAP pricing.
    • “I see myself as an expert Amazon sourcer”
    • Amazon accounts are 50% of current ecommerce, and it will become 80%. We use Amazon like a market but we branch off because we can give more value?
    • Never been turned down by a bank for being an Amazon seller. Looking for sales velocity and cash on hand.
2pm SEO & Analytics for eCommerce
  • Make sure your website is mobile-friendly before Google changes their SEO algorithms.
  • Types of mobile sites
    • Responsive – images adjusted for mobile
    • Dynamic serving – complete different site on same url
    • Dedicated mobile – a site purely for mobile. M.sephora.com
    • AMP = Accelerated Mobile Pages – uses google’s codebase, delivers lightning fast. Javascript? Within browser? What about Facebook?
  • Ecommerce SEO problems
    • Duplicate Content – Sort/Filter Function
    • Utm
    • session ids
  • Fix sites
    • Screamingfrog
  • Should be loading in 3 seconds or less- number provided from Google
    • Most load in .5s or 1-2 seconds
  • Image Optimization
    • Compress images on computer. Cache images when you can. Don’t resize within browser. Google wants under 100kb but that’s really hard .
  • If you provide people with more than 3 choices- they tend to make no choice..
  • Topic focused, not keyword focused
  • Architecture – fixes *** HOW?! Canonical
    • Rel Next/Prev
    • Webmasters.googleblog.com
  • Xenu – find broken links – google it
  • Analytics
    • Setting up a mobile segment – check ppt for photos
  • How much SEO do I need for ecommerce….?
  • bit.ly/ga
  • Look into custom channel grouping if you have a bunch of direct traffic

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