Boost with FBA 2017 Notes

Boost with FBA was the first conference by Amazon that I attended. If you weren’t able to make it to Boost, luckily I took almost 30 pages of notes from the sessions I attended. Here they are! 

Sessions Covered:

  • Keynote
  • Brand Registry
  • Global Selling
  • Promotions
  • Amazon Exclusives
  • Seller Panel

If you weren’t able to attend Boost, Amazon announced these presentations will also be available as videos in Amazon Seller University, an incredible resource for Amazon sellers. 🙂

Contents

9AM Keynote Session

  • Bio

    • 16 years at mckinsey consulting- phd in business
    • Marketplace product and business team
    • Leading fulfillment by amazon and global
  • Mission

    • FBA- Fulfill the earth’s selection from any seller, anywhere, at any time
    • AGS (Global selling team)- Enable sellers anywhere to sell to customers anywhere in the world (seamlessly)
  • Jeff Bezos- founder of Amazon.com

    • Amazon web services
    • Management science- aspire to shape how management works
    • Follow his annual reports over the past 20 years since he started Amazon, you’ll get a sense of how he thinks about management science and the culture he aspires to build at Amazon
  • Culture concept of Day 1 – Founder’s mentality

    • 1997 letter to shareholders
    • First shareholder letter after going public
    • Serving 1.5m customers
    • Leading company in new field of ecommerce
    • “this is day one for the internet and if we execute well, for Amazon.com”
    • Now serving over 300m customers.
    • Anxious desire to shape the future and to do it very very fast
    • How to stay in day 1?
    • Day 1 building blocks
      • Customer obsession
      • Think big + pioneering
      • Embrace trend (external)
      • Speed matters
  • Bias for action

  • 1A. Customer Obsession

    • Customers are always beautifully, wonderfully dissatisfied even when they report being happy and business is great
    • Build products that surprise and delight customers. Easy to adopt. Quickly drives growth. Stay ahead of the competition because inspired by your needs and moving so quickly don’t have to worry about competition because shaping the future
    • Two customers
      • Sellers
      • Buying customers
      • Two sets that are wonderfully dissatisfied all the time
  • 1B. Working backwards starts with envisioning and defining how a product will work for customers when it is complete

    • Amazon Exclusive- launch products exclusive to amazon with merchandise and brand building support. Built by Kyle- learn leveraging Amazon exclusives.
    • What is the future vision we’re trying to achieve and how we’re going to get there
  • 2. Think Big and Pioneering Spirit

    • A. Thinking small is a self-fulfilling prophecy
    • Not 500 goal but 30,000
    • B. Drive change, make something unexpected come true
    • Being willing to be misunderstood for long periods of time as a pioneer
    • 3 practices
      • Taking big bets that have the opportunity to deliver “OUTSIZED” returns
      • ** EXPERIMENTATION- naturally includes failures. How do we learn from failures to improve
        • Higher likelihood of selling new products
        • Conversion + FBA + linked FBA to customers- that’s when we saw it take off
      • Long-term thinking and willingness to be misunderstood in the short term
        • FBA had much conflict internally
  • 3. Embrace powerful trends quickly.. embrace them and you have a tailwind

    • Machine learning, pursuing at Amazon in all business areas including FBA and AGS
      • Provide recommendation for sellers, new marketplaces, based on data we get from customers in those marketplaces
      • Trend where sellers are moving their models from reselling to new products and new brands
      • Hot chocolate designs- couple from Venezuela, footwear designs that are fresh
      • Strong vision and pioneering spirit
      • Things like Amazon Exclusives
      • Enhanced Brand Content detail packages- products + seller brands
  • 4. Speed matters in business – bias for action

    • Mechanisms we can put across organization to help our teams move faster
    • One way and two way doors?
    • Idea one way door-
      • go through door and very hard to go back. We need to be confident that we enjoy what’s on the other side of the door
      • launching a full scale service for sellers
      • What are the consequences on the other side of the door and do we love them
    • Two way door-
      • can test what’s on the other side, if you don’t love it you can move back.
      • Don’t escalate, make a decision and test it to see if it’s successful
      • Product teams- develop services that are two-way doors for you
      • See if you like it
        • FBA
        • Sponsored products
      • What are the two way doors you can use to move forward with your business?

Q&A

  • Vision for FBA global selling- One click, global prime business
    • Simpler solutions for sellers to adopt self-service
    • Global- product over time where you can list in one marketplace and we’ll do it for your globally. Fulfillment to all countries you want to serve so you can be in all marketplaces from day one
    • Prime- critical element. Serving best customers on the internet.
      • The selection that your brands
      • Business to consumer model
      • Fulfillment solutions for business to business
  • What’s we’re building
    • Website services
    • Faster delivery, one day/two day
    • Items that are sold on Amazon and items you sell in your own brick & mortar/other channels
  • What is the biggest key to success for a seller in a congested category?
    • First key to success is making your offer available for prime customers
    • Second, ensure that your prices are competitive
      • Amazon customers have very high expectations on price
      • Many shop around other places on the internet
      • Pricing is super important characteristic
    • Third, sponsored products great opportunity to make your products known. Advertise products and get it to be known in category
    • What about AMS? Or EBC?
  • What is the long-term future of 3P sellers? Is private label the only option?
    • Largest percentage of our sellers are a resale model, leveraging wholesale and bringing selection to Amazon.com
    • Thinking about what other products you can bring to serve customers is an important part of growing your business and differentiate.
    • I don’t think wholesale and retail will go away but I do see a continuing trend of private label and innovative products growing sales on Amazon. What are the unique products you can bring, how can you build your business?
  • What other trends do you see in the marketplace?
    • Global selling. More than 30% units are sold across borders- this is a trend that will continue to increase as marketplaces outside the US are growing faster than the American marketplace. Great selection from US = customers everywhere love the great selection. How can we close the global selection gap for customers around the world
    • Sellers entering other categories. Hardlines, consumer electronics. Sellers trying multiple different categories like consumables.
    • Sellers managing multiple different supply chains. SUPPLY CHAIN CONNECT. Sellers are managing all the way up to raw materials in the supply chain?!!!!! Simplify how you manage the supply base… 

10:30AM: Tell your brand story to customers on Amazon

 

    • What is a brand story?

      • Last message that you want your customers to walk away with. Brand detailed pages. Associate with brand and remember over time. Drive back to detailed packages and drive repeat processes
    • Good brand story

      • Differentiate
        • Amazon has a vast catalog. If you don’t differentiate have a hard time
      • Connect
        • Builds emotional or personal connection. Something over time, emotional drive. Feel like they need to buy your products because of the passion you have for your brand and products.
      • Compel Customers to Buy
    • Why you need a brand story

      • Shoppers think with brands in mind
      • Brands connect with customers at every stage of their journey. Use your brand story to create a memorable and lasting experience that will drive brand recall
        • Awareness
          • When they land on Amazon
        • Consideration
          • Enhanced brand content
        • Purchase
          • Opening that Amazon box. Packaging is an important part of how you tell your brand story. Clear ziploc bag in a box = missed opportunity to connect with brand.
        • Loyalty
          • If you do this well, high quality product and deliver a great experience
        • Advocate
          • They will advocate for you. If they don’t have a story to tell me, have a hard time connecting with them.
    • A Brand Story is an Investment

      • Connecting customers with your brand is an investment that will save yo money and drive higher returns in the long run
      • Increase conversion
        • 85% of US consumers prefer brands with a social message. If you have a value like that- put it on Amazon
      • Drive loyalty- 62% of millennials connect with content online
      • Advocacy and repeat purchases, acquiring a new customer costs 5x more than to keep an existing one!!
    • Customers come to Amazon to Research Products & Brands

      • Awesome slide
    • Leverage Amazon’s Customer Trust for your Brand

      • America’s most reputable companies
      • Invest in your brand
    • How do you know what your brand story is?
    • What does a good brand story look like?
    • How do you identify your brand story?

      • What makes your product unique?
        • You know your product better than anyone. If you had to tell customers why they should buy your product in one sentence, what would it be?
          • Handmade is not the same as homemade
          • Exceptionally high product standards
          • Unique manufacturing capabilities
          • Innovative technology
          • Uniquely sources material (e.g organic)
          • Regional manufacturing specialties
      • How will customers connect with your brand?
        • You may be able to add value beyond what goes into your products by finding other ways to connect with your customers
          • Affiliation with a social cause
          • Proceeds benefiting a charity
          • Passion for the product, industry, or customer
          • Family history (5th gen watchmaker)
          • Unique story
          • product s tailored for specific group
    • Successful brand story- LifeStraw Water Filter Brand Story

      • High quality and portable. Camping/fishing/traveling to foreign country.
      • Enhanced Brand Content (EBC) Detail Page
      • Brand Page – specific color scheme, awards & accolades, talk about products & value, and social mission
      • BRAND VIDEO- How can we have brand videos?
        • How to demonstration in video
        • Want to connect with you- hard to buy after watching that
    • Colored Organics Brand Story –

      • High quality product
      • Brand story that connects
      • Style (very stylish)
    • Can I tell a brand story on amazon?

      • Amazon is investing in brands. Historically brands on the amazon marketplace have had limited options to tell their story but that is changing as we continue to roll out self-service tools that enable you to connect with customers in new ways
      • Enhanced Brand Content (EBC) tool
        • Enables amazon registered brands owners
      • Self Service Video Upload Tool
        • New tool that will enable brand owners to upload a video to the main image block of their brand owned detail pages!! WOO!!
      • Amazon Brand Stories
        • Create a new destination NEW, also new premium marketing space
    • EBC gives Detail pages a premium look

      • Use this space to also tell your brand story
      • Which brand did he mention?
      • Additional text, lots of great images, compelling message
    • EBC is a self-service tool in seller central

      • Advertising -> Enhanced Brand Content
      • 5 static templates. Plug and play. Upload images. Resize, crop, and optimize. Can add text with rich to text format. Build content, submit it to amazon, review it for policy violations.
      • High bar for EBC content because it signals to customers that it’s a premium page. IF we approve, it will be published to page, if not will be rejected with reasons to improve.
    • New Feature Coming- Customized Modular Templates

      • Rearrange the order of the templates.
    • EBC helps drive traffic, conversion, and sales

      • Showcase your brand
        • Consistent brand image
      • Increase Sales Potential
        • 5%+ increase… not that high
      • Improve SEO & Organic Traffic
        • Also don’t know if this is true, hear a lot about keyword problems
      • Amplify Sponsored Products (SP) return
    • EBC Tool Best Practices and FAQ

      • Best Practices
        • Address your customer’s most common pain points, or favorite features
        • Less is more. Keep it. Use the most powerful words and images you can to help customers make decisions quickly.
        • Professional images. Use images that are not shown elsewhere.
      • Most Common Reason Content is not Approved
        • Spend more time upfront making sure there aren’t any violations. Will be slower to respond
        • Warranties and guarantees are not allowed in the EBC section
          • Content has to be applicable to all sellers. Not everyone will allow that warranty
        • 3rd party certifications are not allowed. Organic cotton. You can say it’s organic but can’t say it’s USDA certified or something
        • Seller specific content. IT has to be specific to ALL sellers. It might not be cheap or affordable anymore. Eg when you sell out and the next seller doubled the experience. Do not want poor customer experiences.
        • Text and images. Text is on the images do not automatically get resized for devices. Build content with a desktop device but we also publish EBC on mobile. IF you have text overlay on images, mobile customers will not be read. So 16pt or larger. Look at content and see is this something I’ll be able to read on mobile.
      • Where can I learn more
        • Seller Central Help content
        • Seller University
        • EBC Tool dashboard and home screen
    • New Feature. Self-Service Video Upload Tool in EBC

      • Published in main image block.
    • New Branded Logo Placements Coming

      • Branded above the fold detail page experience
      • Upload brand logos above the fold
    • Amazon Brand Stores

      • Elevated, brand-centric shopping experience on Amazon to showcase your brand, products, and value proposition
    • Create an Amazon Store up to 3 levels deep
    • Drive traffic to your Amazon store
      • *** Amazon url. Own a unique Amazon url linked to your store to drive traffic from places outside of Amazon, such as blogs, social media, and other marketing activities
        • Amazon.com/YourBrand
      • Some link on detail page?

 

  • *** Shoppers can share store pages on social media helping to drive organic visitors

 

    • *** Amazon follow allows brands to reconnect with interested shoppers
      • PEriodic emails to them.
  • Brand Story Key Takeaways

    • Telling a brand story is an investment
    • Find your differentiators and showcase those
    • Utilize ebc tool, video, brand stores
    • Amazon is investing in you as a brand owner with new feature development

 

Brand Registry- Katie Tompkins, Sr. Channel Manager, Merchant Technologies

  • What do I need to know about Amazon Brand Registry
  • What is it- Amazon Brand Registry helps
    • You protect your registered trademarks on Amazon
    • Create an accurate and trusted experience for customers
    • Open to sellers and vendors. Own site that lives outside seller central.
  • Why enroll? Amazon Brand Registry provides access to powerful tools including:
    • Proprietary text and image search
    • Predictive automation based on your reports of suspected intellectual property rights violations
    • Increased authority over product listings with your brand name
      • Can make changes to your detail pages
  • How do I get started?
    • Step 1. Visit brandservices.amazon.com to enroll
    • Step 2: Set up an Amazon Brand Registry account
  • You must provide:
    • Brand name that has a registered trademark
    • Government registered principal trademark registration number. For USPTO marks, the mark drawing type must be a
      • 4- standard character mark or a
      • 1- typeset word (s)letters/numbers
    • Images of the brand’s logo
    • Images of products and packaging with the trademarked brand name. If the product is not branded, the packaging must be branded
    • Product categories the brand should be listed under
    • Countries where the brand’s products are manufactured and distributed
  • Do I need to re-enroll?
    • Yes, if you:
      • Are a seller enrolled before April 30, 2017, and
      • Meet the eligibility criteria

 

Q&As:

  • Need to register with European trademarks for European amazon marketplaces. American trademarks do not translate to other Amazon marketplaces
  • Does the brand registry gate my brand?
    • Brand registry is not a tool to gate brands, enforce MAP, or distribution. It’s used to protect against trademark/copyright violations
  • How does EBC work with Amazon’s search algorithm for keyword ranking and making sure it’s relevant?
    • They did not answer my question 🙁
  • Video guidelines and best practices
    • Will publish when we release that feature with a thorough set of guidelines. Right now don’t have plans to restrict until we get a better. Policies, warranties/guarantees/3rd party etc, same as EBC. Moderated in similar fashion.
  • How long does it take to get a trademark
    • Seen from a few months to a year. Depends on the complexity of the brand name and how close it is to other existing marks
  • Is there a way for me to search which brands have registered?

 

12:30PM Grow Your Business Globally: Amazon Global Selling

Director, Product Development and Design at Amazon Global Selling

 

  • Your ambition + Amazon = a thriving global business
  • Why go global with Amazon?
    • The future of ecommerce is increasingly global
  • Excerpts

    • “To globalize marketplace and expand the opportunities available to sellers, we built selling tools that empowered entrepreneurs in 172 countries to reach customers in 189 countries last year”
    • “…even small and niche sellers can now tap into our global customer base and global logistics network…”
    • Jeff Bezos – 2015 annual letter to shareholders, april 2016
  • You might be saying: “but selling globally is complicated and scary.”
  • Sellers are leveraging Amazon tools to expand globally
    • Selling internationally has doubled our business- Bling Jewelry
    • Other slides missed
  • Bling Jewelry- started brand selling out of 1-bedroom apartment in Manhattan, Elana Castenada.

    • What was their original volume though?
    • Since 2008. Sterling silver, 10,000 items.
    • Quality without compromising value
    • Different currencies, logistics, customer service issues, etc.
    • US in 2008. UK in 2010. Canada in 2013. Rest of Europe in 2014 along with Japan. 2016 China and Mexico. 2017 India.
    • Our international sales equal US sales excluding China
    • 160% growth in Japan
    • 70% growth YTD in europe
    • Pick best-selling products. What’s selling on Amazon competitive marketplaces and see if it’s competitive. List. Test logistics. Make sure you’re compliant. Do it, it’s well worth it.
  • Amazon makes global expansion easier and faster

    • Access to loyal customers worldwide
      • 300m customers across 200 countries
    • Global logistics and support
      • FBA can help fulfill international orders.
    • Tools to list products and do business across borders
  • Amazon provides access to loyal customers worldwide

    • Monthly unique visitors
      • US
        • 93mm fixed
        • 70mm mobile
      • Europe
        • 81 mm fixed
        • 45mm mobile
      • Japan
        • 18 mm fixed
        • 32mm mobile
  • Amazon’s Global logistics and support simplifies fulfillment

    • +1500MM sq. ft. fulfillment network
    • 1. Send inventory
      • Lower costs by shipping inventory in bulk
    • 2. Receive and store
      • Your products are close to customers around the world
      • 1-day, 2-day, next-day
    • 3. Customers orders product
      • Your products are more visible with Prime
      • WOrld class fulfillment and customer service
    • 4. Pick pack and ship
      • Products can be shipped to customers the same speed as domestic sellers
    • 5. Customer service
      • Local language customer support for fulfillment
    • 6. Customer returns
      • Provides local returns
  • Amazon’s tools help manage your global business

    • Global account management
    • Easy multi-marketplace listing and pricing management
    • TRanslation of listing into local languages
    • Global fulfillment returns
    • Missed something
  • 2. How do I go global

  • Elana- how did she build a global Amazon business starting from her one bedroom apartment?

    • Start Amazon.com
    • Phase 2: Amazon.co.uk
    • Phase 3: Amazon.ca
    • Phase 4: Amazon.de, es, fr, it, co.jp
    • Phase 5: Amazon.cn, .mx
    • Built a global selling strategy?
  • Baby step: Enable US FBA Export for Amazon.com

    • Enables international customers on Amazon.com to buy your exportable products!
    • Steps
      • Navigate to Fulfillment by Amazon
      • Edit Export Settings
      • FBA Exports
      • Submit Signature
  • Global selling in 5 steps

    • Research
    • Register
    • List
    • Fulfill
    • Get Paid
  • Step 1. Research- Get help with researching market suitability and regulations with solution provider network. Visit solution provider network (spn): amazon.com/spn

    • Local tax, local compliance
      • External tax advisors
      • External translation providers
      • Imaging PRoviders
      • International REturn Providers
  • Step 2: Register an account in a new marketplace at amazon.com/expand

    • LINKED ACCOUNTS
    • Access to global selling dashboard
  • Step 3: Synchronize your listings across marketplaces

    • To start synchronize, go to seller central -> Inventory -> Sell Globally -> Build international listings
    • Automatically adjust your price for things like changes in the exchange rate
    • Set simple price rules to manage competitiveness, profitability, at a global scale
    • One of our most powerful and popular global selling tools
  • Step 4: Fulfill orders using Amazon’s Global Fulfillment SOlutions, including Pan-European FBA

    • To use pan-european fba- go to seller central -> Inventory -> Pan-European FBA Inventory
    • Zamir Cajee, CEO of iQualTech
      • How much volume do you have to do to be used as a customer example for Amazon? LOL.
  • Step 5: Get paid in your local currency

    • To start receiving payments in your currency, go to Seller Central -> Settings -> Account Info
  • Amazon helps makes global expansion easier and faster

    • 1. 300mm customers worldwide
    • 2. FBA exports simples thing you can do
    • 3. Pan-EU FBA
      • Easiest way to sell across Europe
  • What should I do next?

    • Visit the AGS booth outside!
    • Go to amazon.com/expand to start selling in Europe and Japan

Q&A:

  • Should I start in UK first?
    • Starting in UK first is easier because of language. But EU commitment to 5 countries opposed to 1
  • Too early to sell globally if you do not want to know what products you want to sell
    • Know what your products are and how you are going to get to market
    • Most common time to start crossing borders is when you have your product strategy solidified and next is finding more customers
    • Reseller- bringing new products to new marketplaces.
  • Start with what you know. Learn what your customers like and don’t like. Start with products that you think are going to sell and slowly build that catalog.
  • Something code? TO see if it’s even importable or exportable. ATC? Would love to get better at knowing which items are exportable or importable to countries. Today we do it everything on. Sometimes the catalog data is not complete. To determine, we need to know material composition, if we don’t have that data, we can’t make assessment.
    • Classifying more of these products
    • If we need to export these, we just need this attribute. Look for us to improve that over time
  • How will Brexit affect?
    • I don’t know
    • The way we’re looking at this now is business as usual
    • Anything that happens in this dimension will happen over a number of years so our operation will continue onto change materializes
    • My hunch will it change sometime, we don’t know how it will change, but it will be some time
  • Amazon japan is thriving marketplace
    • 70% people shop online
    • 100m
    • 5th most trafficked website in japan
    • Tremendous opportunity
    • Japanese customers have a high affinity for western brands**
  • What are the statistics for those other marketplaces?
    • What are the top sites that people shop on each country? Where is Amazon on the list? Will Amazon also dominate other international marketplaces like they are dominating US?

 

1:30PM Customer Deals and Promotions:
Deals and Promotions to Spin the Brand Flywheel

Cathy Moran. Managers, Deals and Promotions Product Management Team

    • Agenda

      • Why is Amazon a good place to gain new customers?
      • Where do deals and promotions play in the flywheel?
      • Tools to drive traffic and conversion
      • What is prime day
      • What is next for promotional tools
      • q&a
    • Why is Amazon a good place to gain new customers?

      • Marketplace launch in 2000
        • 11 marketplaces
        • 189 countries
      • Amazon marketplace- 50% of amazon units are from sellers
      • Amazon reaches customers
        • 300mm worldwide customers
        • 42mm us monthly unique desktop visitors
        • 126mm us monthly unique mobile visitors
      • Many different customers. Age composition
        • 40% 18-34
        • 33$ 34-49
        • 27% 50+
        • What’s their purchasing power breakdown?!!
    • Flywheel

      • Customer experience
      • Traffic
      • Sellers
        • Once sellers like you come to the platform to the sell
      • Selection
      • Better customer experience
      • Growth
      • Lower cost structure
      • Lower prices
      • Better customer experience
      • Big growth
    • Tools:

      • 1. Lightning deals
      • 2.Sale prices
      • 3.Multi-unit economics
      • 4.
      • 5.
    • Tools to drive traffic and conversion

      • Pick the right tool for the right product and life cycle of the product
    • Lightning deals

      • Pre-Peak Life Cycle. Mass Appeal
      • Flash Sale – 6 hours
      • Limited Qty
      • Deep Discounts
      • Post Deal Halo Sales
      • Today’s Deal page placement
      • Notes:
        • 2nd most happening page on Amazon
        • I want to go where the eyeballs are
        • Going to a mass set of eyeballs. Not targeted?
        • MASS APPEAL
        • Accelerate your growth
    • Time bound sale price

      • Anytime Life Cycle
      • Beginning or End of Life
      • Combine with Sponsored Products
      • Time bound “Sale” price
      • 1 day to 2 weeks discount
      • Impact buy box pricing ?!!
      • Notes:
        • If you have it on sale all the time, start eroding customer trust.
    • Multi-Unit Promotions

      • Early to middle life cycle
      • Increase basket size (tiered prom)
      • Trial of other products (buy x, get y)
      • Increase basket size
      • Stock up and save message
      • 1 day to 4 week promotions
    • Tools to drive traffic and conversion: lightning deals

      • Lightning deals are flash price discount promotions that are additionally merchandised on the amazon deals page
        • Customers see what % of units have been claimed in real time
        • You choose the product image for lighting deals and multiple styles, sizes, or colors to include
      • Notes:
        • Give excitement to customer and sense of urgency.
      • General lighting deal criteria- high quality
      • Not full list; 30+ rules are set by country/category and date
      • Deal Price
        • Discount of 20% off the lowest buy box price from any sellers ( can change per timeframe and category, but system will tell you max price)
        • The price of the item cannot be changed during the day of the promotion
        • Deals can be run once every 7 days
      • Product:
        • 3.0 stars (can change by time/frame)
        • More on website
    • How to get Started:

      • Tips:
      • 1. Seasonality- pick the week right before peak
      • 2. Right Price: Does the max price reflect the market on and off Amazon?
      • Pick the right product

 

  • * 3. Quantity: Will the quantity meet your foal for new customers and more reviews?

 

        • What is your goal for the lightning deal?
        • Lot of sales in 6 hours that will get you reviews and help your products show up more often- increase rank
        • Does lightning deals increase your sales ranking on specific keywords in the Amazon algorithm?
    • After you set up a Deal
      • Tips:
      • 1. Sponsored Products: Target customers
      • 2. Social media: Let your followers know about the deal to share with friends
      • 3. Monitor your deal: Is inventory still high and is the price still 20% off current price?
  • Tools to drive Traffic and Conversion: Sale Price

    • Benefits:
      • Sale price shown on the product detail page and within source
      • Helps increase conversion
    • Best Practices:
      • 1 day to 2 week promotions
      • Sale prices should be 5% or lower off lowest 30 day normal price
      • Combine a sale price with a sponsored product to drive targeted traffic
  • How to Get Started

    • Option 1:
      • 1. Manage your inventory page
      • 2. Select “edit”
      • 3. Update sale price
      • Q. So does this only affect your listing as a seller? Or the entire listing for all sellers?!
    • Option 2:
      • Flat file upload
  • Tools to drive traffic and conversion: multi-unit promotions

    • Benefits:
      • NEW: Search placements ??
      • NEW: Top of the page placements! ??
      • Larger basket size per order
      • Motivate customer to try something new
    • Top Promotion Codes Types:
      • Multi Unit – Buy 3 get 20% off
      • BXGY – Buy 1 get X free
      • Tiered promotion – Buy 2 get 10% off; Buy 4 get 15% off
  • Prime Day

    • Prime Day 2017 – 2nd week in July
    • The 3rd annual exclusive shopping event for Prime members
    • Video
      • 3 most popular designs at the lowest prices we’ve offered
      • Brands mentioned
        • LSTI
        • Faybelline Clothing Co.
        • Segway
  • Prime Day contd

    • Highlights from 2016 prime day
      • Bigger than prime day and black friday of 2015
      • 83% increase in worldwide deals from Prime Day 2015
    • How to prepare outside of Deals
    • Deals get the customer in the store but they buy a lot more than Deals while on Amazon
      • 1. Prepare to replenish your inventory fast after prime day
      • 2. Consider sale prices or multi unit promotions on prime day
      • 3. Consider sponsored products to drive traffic to your selection
      • 4. Brand-owned products: have them look their best with A+ content
        • Is that EBC or different?
    • 26% lift in sales during the week of prime day
  • “There’s so much stuff that has yet to be invented. There’s so much new that’s going to happen. People don’t have any idea yet how impactful the internet is going to be and that this still Day 1 in such a big way.” – Jeff Bezos

  • What is next for promotions?

    • Feature enhancements to current tools. Continuous tool improvements for:
    • 1. Lightning deals
    • 2. Promotions
    • 3. Sales Price
    • Seller powered coupons- ETA 2018
      • Efficient targeted electronic redemption of coupons created, tracked, and managed by sellers and vendors.

Q&A.

  • Deals for Cyber Monday and Black Friday.
    • September and October, announcements in Seller Central. Send out emails.
  • Lightning deals are refreshed on a weekly basis so if you don’t see the product you want to lightning deal, refresh the next week.
  • Seller-fulfilled prime does qualify for lightning deals
  • June 27th was the cutoff for Prime day?!
  • Can I limit the number of units sold for sales price and multi-unit?
    • We’re considering it. It’s not live now.
  • Most of you would choose 8am monday for 6 hour deal window? 8am to 2pm! What is prime time shop time? Lunch break? LOL

 

2:30PM: Amazon Exclusives: The Power of Account Management

Kyle Walker, Category Leader Amazon Exclusives

  • Bio

    • 100% of our brands utilize FBA in some way
    • Part of building a brand today is connecting with prime customers
    • Optimizing your supply chain, experimentation,
    • Amazon at almost 4 years now. Started on account management team. Managed a bunch of brands that built a business model reselling other people’s products. How did those brands get started?
    • Working for Nike in the golf industry. Nike’s a huge name but not in golf. Sales capacity, account management, dicks sporting goods, golf galaxy, trying to build a new brand. It’s like building a startup like nike. Buyer?
    • Defined shelf space in a store. New brands struggled to get in there.
    • Margin and return are important as a buyer
    • As people were building brands they could bypass those gatekeepers of retail. They didn’t need an appointment or to get on my store shelf to be successful
    • Next step is there is an advantage on going direct.
    • Going through a traditional retail channel, I am at least 3 steps removed from my customer.
    • I’m a new emerging brand, get a PO from brick mortar retail, receiver it, ship it, send it to fulfillment center, break it down send to stores, need to rely on store to tell my story or to differentiate it from others. Customer buys product. They have feedback. If they’re lucky to receive feedback from store, rarely happens, they return it or love it. I as the brand owner never get that feedback because I’m so far removed from my customer.
    • Amazon FBA = always one step away from your customer
    • How many of you have looked at your reviews and ratings, social media, voice to see how to improve your next product
    • Immense amount of resources that tell you what people need and what people want by pursuing an Amazon fba model
  • What is Amazon exclusives?

    • Adding value to the brand journey: amazon exclusives showcases sellers who have chosen to sell their products only on the amazon marketplace and through their own websites and physical stores
    • Key components
      • Discoverability
        • Target the right customers on Amazon
      • Brand presentation
        • Differentiate your products
          • Had a bunch of meetings with a bunch of brands with amazing stories and wanted to help tell those stories to Amazon customers. One of the first to use EBC. Experimented with videos.
      • Consultation
        • Provide insights that help you grow and develop your brand in Amazon’s ecosystem
    • Notes:
      • Started seeing Amazon exclusives in tv shows and publications
      • Jason was his first hire
      • Did 50 different experiments with internal teams last year on Amazon. Never met a team that did 50 different experiments with different teams.
      • Our team is very passionate.
      • Amazing to work at a company that has 50 teams that are all experimenting at the same time
  • The power of brand management on Amazon

    • Content
      • Engage and test
      • Utilize all tools at your disposal
      • E.G: Successful kickstarter card game campaign. Worked with them to engage, test, try to find the right types of content that would speak to their core customer- but also reach other amazon customers that are not aware of crowdfunding.
        • How do you test this type of content?
      • Most crowdfunding campaigns- Peak 3rd day.
        • Theirs looked like a roller coaster because they engaged with their customers with challenges. If you share this with 50 people by tomorrow or get 5000 RTs, we will let you the audience choose for what starts the game
        • You unlocked the challenge, you get to pick the rule that starts the game
        • That engagement kept their campaign continuing to grow
    • Connections
      • Find the right message for the right medium
      • Drive traffic from the right sources
      • Notes:
        • Had crowd that was into those silly challenges.
        • STEM toy brand.
        • Target specific content, quick videos showing product being flashy. Appeal to kids. 5 to 15 year olds on instagram that highlights how cool the product is.
        • So they’ll target parents on another channel with content more geared towards them- how it works, how it teaches them to code, how much it costs
        • Always make sure you’re thinking of the connections you’re driving to your brand and that you’re in the right medium for the message you’re trying to tell
    • Consistency
      • Make a style guide
      • Manage channels effectively
      • Notes:
        • Watch THE FOUNDER- story of Mcdonald’s. Scene that sticks with me in consistency
        • As he realizes that he’s trying to scale mcdonalds, he realizes he needs a focus on his core. Profiting from the core. His core was hamburgers, soda, and fries that was driving 90% of his sales, and that’s where he was going to have his focus and forget everything else
        • He also realized he needed franchise. Consistent over a wider base of franchisees. Scene in movie, tracks down first franchisee, instead of following rules, make up his own menu, literally follows him on golf course to throw a burger at his feet
        • Consistency at scale is very hard. Style guide
        • STEM example- might use different content but have over branching guide. Across all advertising mediums, detail pages,
        • If you can create a brand that has equity on Amazon, that’s what going to create those repeat purchases
  • Telling your story in alignment with your Brand Image
  • Where you tell your story

    • Content, connections, consistency
    • Enhanced brand content (EBC), video, merchandising, lifestyle images, social media, deal cadence, product life cycle, holistic storytelling, channel management
    • Telling your story in alignment with your brand image
    • Additional ways customers engage brands
      • Ratings
      • Reviews
      • Customer Service
      • Engagement
      • SEO Optimized (off and on Amazon)
        • How are you going to optimize on Google
        • Will your Amazon page pop up?
        • More people are starting their product search on Amazon. Amazon optimization is just as important
  • Audit and Measure Yourself

    • Are you connecting to customers and potential customers in a coordinated way?
    • You should constantly audit:
  • 1. Engagement (social, reviews)

    • Are people talking?
      • PL not thinking about whole cycle of how people are thinking about their brands
  • 2. Completing the Feedback Loop

    • What are they saying? How are we learning?
      • Reviews, seller feedback
      • Stories of companies that have mined customer reviews to see if you could create better product.
      • But are you also closing this loop with customers when they leave negative feedback?
  • 3. Product life Cycle

    • How do my products reflect on my brand?
    • I’ve gotten slow at innovating… how does my product launch cycle reflect on my brand
  • 4. Measurement

    • What direction is my brand trending in customer’s eyes? How do I measure over time?
    • We’re going to complete the feedback loop 90% of the time within 24 hours
  • 5. Channel Management

  • Examples:
    • This Bar Saves Lives
    • Willow & Everett
  • BE AUTHENTIC. All of you have an amazing story of what inspired you to create a brand. Don’t force it into a model that doesn’t make sense. And focus on telling it everyday through your actions
  • Brand management takeaways
    • 1. Audit for content, connections, and consistency across all mediums
    • 2. Test format, engagement, medium, and ensure the feedback loop is complete when possible
  • “Day 2 is statis. Followed by irrelevance. Followed by excruciating, painful decline. Followed by death. And that is why it is always Day 1.” – Jeff Bezos, 2017 shareholder letter
    • Every brand journey needs to stay on Day 1. What’s product #2?
  • For more information visit: services/amazon exclusives?

 

Abe Minkara. Business Development Director at Mark Cuban Companies.

  • We support all the consumer product shark tank brands
  • Fill for one week throughout the year. For all the companies that you see mark due the handshake deal. We do all the due diligence and that process could take 30 to 90 days
  • Once we close on the deal, not every deal is closed on
  • This is when the team starts supporting the companies
  • Accounting services
  • Manage ecommerce presence
  • Make sure they have the right amazon presence
  • If you don’t have the right amazon presence when the show airs, you’re missing out
  • Partnerships, creating channels when we have the right products
  • Direct to consumer model
  • Every time the show airs we can see a bump on the website
  • Mark believes the american dream is still alive and well. These days if you have a laptop and a wifi connection, you can start a business. Start selling on your website, on Amazon
  • Amazon exclusives creates a great platform for telling you story and then sky’s the limit
  • It’s about effort and persistence. If you are a consumer product. You need to know your channels. Know the cost of selling on that channel. Not every channel is right for your product. Not every b&m retailer is right for your product. If it’s going on your website, what’s the cost associated with selling on that. What does that channel have to offer for boosting your brand? Amazon offers a lot more… Access to account rep which is huge. Brand Registry, enhanced brand content.
  • We’ve been working together for 2 and a half years.
  • New brands comes on from shark tank. Where are you selling your product. Listing, and on Amazon. Usually barely anything. Just listed it. No that’s not enough. You have to grow your presence on amazon. Whatever channel you’re on, maximizing your ? on that channel.
  • Power Practical? Crowdfunding events. Pushing to B&M retail.
    • November 2015, board meeting, purchase order…. By july 2016 looked like they were done. Couldn’t grow. Looking for opportunities to partner.
    • They had a kickstarter crowdfunding event in Q4. Take it from kickstarter straight to exclusives, let’s give it a shot
    • Did not have any presence on amazon. Shut all other channels off. Went full Amazon exclusive. Had $5000 sales. Had 90,000. July took part in prime day- did about $150,000 in one day. That was a $300k month for them.
      • Should have shut down in July if they had gone through the same model. They ended up having their best month. So they kept with this amazon exclusives model
      • It’s a model that works- why does it work?
      • Lending, fba, multi channel fulfillment. Take advantage of every amazon seller service known to man lol
  • Share the story of MOVE? Mark Cuban passion project
    • Move- the un-hoverboard. Mark brought a team of engineers from scratch. Tested concept on kickstarter. Radical move- it’s live now.
    • Next step is to push it on Amazon because it’s a channel that YOU control
    • Great channel for a startup to launch that comes with a website
    • In the beginning when you don’t know your COGs, and then you get more comfortable with your operations, you can look at other channels to expand

Q&A:

  • Do my products have to be trademarked for amazon exclusives?
    • Technically no. have to be distributing in your own stores and website.
    • If you win the lottery of a successful brand but don’t have trademark- you’ll be playing a lot of catchup.
    • It’s everything someone should think about if they’re trying to build a brand
    • Every brand needs to protect itself. Trademarks, copyrights, patents.
  • What are the requirements to be part of amazon exclusives?
    • You have to be a direct to consumer brand
    • Brand like tesla would qualify
      • They sell in their stores and on their site.
    • Almost every single brand in their journey.
    • Don’t have wholesalers!- complicates a lot of branding work
    • Seller-fulfilled prime. Just want to have prime badge
    • One of our most successful launches, had more than 20k units sold. Prevented client from making a stupid decision that devalued our brand. That brand is discontinued in customers’ eyes
    • Fully scalable system.
  • A lot of shark tank companies are smaller companies that don’t have a lot of distribution other than their own website
  • If you have a product that has some traction and haven’t thought about how to get that to all those people- that blessing becomes a burden. Utilizing FBA, optimizing supply chain, helps you deal with the influx of orders.
  • Product gets posted to slickdeals because you discounted it by $5
    • What are other popular deal sites?
  • What data do you think is the most important to pay attention to?
    • Just from business reports within seller central
    • Daily sales and traffic- lots of information there – 80% questions until deep diving into specific date ranges, conversions/units
      • Brand development team uses it every day
      • Used it as account manager. How’s my business doing. Why did we go down or go up?
      • Sales went down but conversion went up
      • What happened yesterday? Such and such brand, posted on slickdeals, had more conversion at full price next day. Massaging that data.
    • Some companies even more simple than that
      • How much inventory do you have at amazon fba
      • You have to ship some more, good problem to have.
      • Breaking down the costs earlier.
      • What’s the cost of doing business on Amazon so you can plan better.
      • Sponsored ads work REALLY well.
  • Are there any companies that you wish Mark had invested in?
    • Before shark tank, mark did not have any consumer products in his portfolio. They’re just filmed season 9, now there’s almost 70 companies from shark tank, and majority are consumer products. Tech, beauty, outdoor, etc.
    • How those different categories are forming and synergies being built with those companies
    • We have some interesting guest sharks so watch in september. Richard branson.
  • If you’re currently in other channels can you stop selling there to be a part of amazon exclusives?
    • Yes
    • Only launched this 2 years ago. March 11, 2015.
    • Peanut butter brand example
      • Created unique flavor and launching that new flavor on amazon exclusives and see what happens.
        • Building sales data
        • Reviews
        • Have more leverage over channels
        • Can release it eventually when they want
        • Proven that a flavor or variation that works and can push it at lower risk with traditional channels.

Seller Showcase

  • Sellers:

    • Lawrence Bibi- Light Accents
    • Camille Szramiak & Ben Arneberg – Willow and Everett
    • Shea
    • Abe Minkara. Business Development Director at Mark Cuban Companies.
  • Are you guys ready for prime day?

  • third prime day. 2 years ago it was a huge success for us. Just had enough inventory. Planned for it this year. Ready inventory wise.
  • Austin- Shea brands? 6 months in business. Not sure if ready. Scaled up supply chain and manufacturing but don’t have anything sophisticated lined up.
    • Launched December. Been in amazon exclusives. Shea butter. It’s usage as a raw material is very low? Lots of eczema problems.
  • Willow- started 2 years ago. Launched first brand on amazon and it was a failure. Bringing people together over something common.
  • Lawrence Light- was a supplier for big box stores like home depot and walmart. Did a lot of manufacturing for them. Found getting more difficult dealing with big box stores. Started in 2011, the online division of the company, started with amazon. Same year started selling 4 products on az. Very slowly. Tweaked listings. Drove traffic. Once we started getting reviews, products started to sell.
    • Got over excited started sending everything to fba. One of the mistakes we made. Very large product not recommend for fba.
    • Having history, lightning deals and prime day. Been able to forecast for prime day and the holiday season. Our business is very seasonal, unless you have the sales, it’ll be very difficult to forecast sales
    • Takes approximately 90 days, manufacturing, bringing it in over the water and into warehouses
    • Should know when you should have it in stock and the certain times of the year where you will need it most.

 

  • Abe how do you know when your brands/companies are ready for Amazon?

  • Managing those logistics
  • Name of the game is momentum on amazon. Build reviews. Sales. Nothing like prime day for boosting your sales. Every year gotta be more ready for it. As a brand, it’s one of the most powerful marketing platforms that Amazon has to offer.

 

How do you guys think about building your brands and communicating your brands on Amazon

  • Willow-
    • Tell story through images
    • Enhanced brand content
    • Surprised how much our personal story resonates with our customers
    • Thought people just bought off price- but when all is equal, and customers are trying to dig through your content- they do start to care about your personal story. Lead with vision, mission, and certain lifestyle that comes with these products which helps us differentiate from very similar products. Can sell at a higher price point because of those.
    • Best social media engagement come around posts about how they’re a couple, as brand owners, what the brand means to us, and the values we put into the brand. Do a great job incorporating brand into detail pages.
    • More customers buying on mobile
      • Can i see how many sales I get from mobile? Is there an age target that buys on mobile?
    • One specific misunderstanding of your product- it’s in the bullet- or put it in the first or second image.
    • STAY AHEAD OF PROBLEMS. Pay attention to reviews.
    • Send email here are some commonly asked questions. Have insert with that as well.
  • Light
    • Look at packaging and what goes in the box- so they see very specific brand. Instruction manual. Include customer survey form inside the box to find what they think about the product once they receive it. And hopefully they’ll leave a review whether good or bad.
  • Shea- feel like we’ve gotten 3 years of feedback within months
    • Changing language and messaging
    • Completely change packaging
    • Update blends
    • “It keeps me up at night”

How do you guys think about driving demand on or off Amazon?

    • Willow-
      • New product launch, great services like viral launch- get visibility. More unique you can create your products, customized, patents, there’s amazing opportunities with doing kickstarters – get initial visibility- take all momentum and translate to amazon sales. Helped a few brands do this as well. Incredible opportunity.
      • Great resources for gadgets? Found one of our products randomly on buzzfeed?
    • Dan, shark tank guy

 

  • Amazon has a great pre-order feature now?  ?!!

 

    • Drive with SEO and brand awareness
  • Light
    • Do a lot of
    • Sponsored product first
    • Examine keyword reports
    • Develop manual campaigns
    • Look at once or twice per week and consistenly tweak
    • Look at costs per sale and remove words that are not bringing in sales
    • Really watch your ACoS.
    • What number you’re comfortable with? Once you set that number- watch all your keywords and if there’s a keyword above your ACoS goal- reduce the CPC for that keyword
    • Going from automatic to manual, weekly, lot of techniques
    • Tremendous way to get your product in front of a lot of eyes
    • Million keywords
      • Million phrases
      • Exact words
      • Very specific things that you can target

When you drive that demand and building up that momentum, that inevitably leads to scaling, manufacturing/supply chain

  • Austin- had this fantasy of wanting to do it all in-house. Really liked process. It was ultimately a cost thing. Went out to find an agile manufacturer in New York City and after 3 weeks found one…
  • Lawrence-
    • Don’t do anything too quickly or too fast. Don’t dive in. do adequate research. Make sure you know what everyone else is doing before you dive in.
    • When you create products. Make sure you pay attention to every detail. Title. Description. Bullet. Image.
    • If you want to look like a real brand, professional company, your brand page is your billboard
    • Do a lot of social media work
    • Building a chain
      • Find suppliers that you have personal relationships with and trust. That will happen over time. It’s important to have trust with overseas supplier.
    • Out of stock on Amazon is the worst thing on Amazon. Always keep your stuff in stock.
  • Willow-
    • A lot of vetting of potential manufacturers that we’re willing to work with. Casting a wide net, evaluating a lot. Going with ones that are highly rated.
    • Actually going there and running pretty stringent inspections.
    • Infamous listing takedowns
    • Spend a little extra to maintain that product quality
  • Dan-
    • Amazon is a great machine but you need to really know what az has to offer and don’t overdo it. Ship small parcels and growing so fast that you’re shipping pallets, be careful.
    • When you’re at that point- keep shipping parcels on the side? There’s a chance that your pallet will take more time than expected and be on that reserve status ( the black hole)
    • One trick is when you’re at that stage- keep shipping small parcels.
    • If that works- then you slowly moderate to the pallets
    • If something goes wrong, you’ll lose all your momentum.

How do you know when your company is ready to take on debt?

  • Austin- only after we got in the hands of a couple 1000 people. Iterating on product over a few months. Assessing over snapshot of how much money we made. None of us went to business school or were aestheticians. Had to be incredibly honest about the things we’re good at and weren’t…
  • Light-
    • Feel more comfortable financing products
    • Forecast 6 months ahead of what I’m going to need. That money is put aside to buy merchandise. Forecasting is very, very important.
    • First few years I started with i had no idea, that’s why starting slowly is VERY IMPORTANT.
    • Once you have the sales history, you can forecast. It’ll be a little more of a correct forecast.
  • Willow-
    • Depends on risk appetite. If you’re aggressive- then probably take on debt.
    • Really enjoyed amazon lending.
    • Don’t want to be too gung-ho
    • It’s about growing in control and determining your risk appetite
  • Dan-
    • Have to assess risk and base it on CONSERVATIVE PROJECTIONS
      • So follow jamie’s rule and divide monthly sales by 50%?

How do you launch new products? Cadence? Thought process? Adding values?

  • Light-
    • Have containers come in every month. Usually bring in about 300 to 500 units of something new that’s not on Amazon.
    • It’s not such a small number that the factory will laugh at me but just enough to get started and test waters. If it doesn’t work let it die. If it works, place another order
  • Willow-
    • Using a VIP audience that we created to soft launch a product. Use it as a small consumer focus group to get feedback. A lot of what we do is highly customized. Patent pending.
    • Trying to go one step before even kickstarter. Does this idea even resonate. Does this functionality. Don’t want to take a guess and lose lots of money.
    • If we can have a core targeted, our most ideal customers, to show them what we’re thinking, we can quickly pinpoint on what we should double down on

When you launch product, how to go from page 90 to 1?

  • Willow
    • Sponsored products, lightning deals
    • Being able to build our own audience, tell them about it, get buy-in for that product. Third party tools like viral launch.
  • Dan
    • It’s like facebook live on facebook page. Where founders can tell their story. Tried that and it works successfully. More exposure.
    • Can’t list it and forget. Every day need to check listing.

Global

  • Lawrence-
    • First year we started. Our product is electrical.
    • Seeing sales every day from UK, France
    • Make sure you figure out your pricing out
    • There’s a 20% VAT tax on anything sold in europe
    • Very specific tastes in different countries
    • Check out sites and see what’s selling
    • Don’t just send something that sells here ***
    • Keep crunching away.
    • Don’t give up.
      • If it didn’t work, it could be a small title change that could make it go from not selling at all
      • Is this a good keyword? Maybe I should put it in my title

 

Cynthia’s session

  • Write down a list of everything you’ve learned. Take 3 actionable steps.

  • These sessions will be posted in seller central- you can watch them.

  • Big announcement – PRIME DAY JULY 11- 13 COUNTRIES

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