Failing Successfully: How To Use Failure To Grow Your Business w/ Casey Gauss

Failing Successfully: How To Use Failure To Grow Your Business w/ Casey Gauss

Sellers in the Amazon space today seem to only talk about success. But what about the other side? The side that sees less attention? As a seller, it’s important to recognize that failure is a critical aspect of growth for you and your business. Failing successfully on Amazon can make or break even the greatest sellers. With the right systems in place, it can be used as one of your most valuable assets. Scaling your business effectively means knowing how to best respond to failure. In this episode, we break down how you can leverage failure to effectively grow your business. We’ll talk through how you can shift your mindset towards failure, and how this mindset shift can change your life as well as your business.

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Podcast Transcript

CAMERON YODER:

Sellers in the Amazon space today seem to only talk about success, but what about the other side, the side that sees less attention?  As a seller it’s important to recognize that failure is a critical aspect of growth for you and for your business.

CASEY GAUSS:

Successfully handling failure on Amazon can make or break even the greatest sellers.  With the right systems in place it can be used as one of the most valuable assets.  Scaling your business effectively means knowing how to best respond to failure.  I’m Casey Gauss.

CAMERON YODER:

And I’m Cameron Yoder, your hosts for Follow the Data: Your Journey to Amazon FBA Success.  In this show we leverage the data that we’ve accumulated at Viral Launch from over 30,000 product launches and our experience working with more than 8,000 brands to help you understand the big picture when it comes to Amazon and the best practices for success as an Amazon seller.

CASEY GAUSS:

In this episode Cam and I are going to break down how you can leverage failure to effectively grow your business.  We’ll talk through how you can shift your mindset towards failure and how this mindset shift can change your life as well as your business.  Let’s get started.

CAMERON YODER:

All right, so we’re talking about an interesting topic today.  This is data-driven, but it is also more motivational based, something that honestly not a lot of people in the Amazon space have talked about or are talking about right now.  You seem to only hear about the successes that are going on in Amazon, and honestly I think that just seeing those or hearing those can be – it can wear on you if you do experience failure, which you will experience failure in your Amazon journey, just like everything else in life.  And because of that we felt like it was really necessary to talk about failure and talk about failure as an Amazon seller, or just as a person in general, as you continue to expand your business.

CASEY GAUSS:

Yeah, just to preface, we’re going to first start off kind of talking about failure in business in general, and then we’ll talk about where we are seeing a lot of Amazon sellers fail.  And so just to hopefully help you see kind of around those corners and make sure that if you are failing you’re failing gracefully and you can avoid failure if possible.

CAMERON YODER:

This is an interesting statistic to start out just kind of the discussion.  According to Jeff Bezos’ recent shareholder letter, for the first time more than half of units sold worldwide last year came from third-party sellers.  Yeah, that’s honestly crazy.  It’s a crazy number.  Over 140,000 businesses topped $100,000 in sales.

CASEY GAUSS:

And 20,000 topped over $1 million in sales.

CAMERON YODER:

It’s just crazy.  It’s crazy to hear all these numbers, and I think it’s easy for sellers to think that well all these other people are succeeding so obviously if I’m failing I’m doing something wrong.  But no, that’s not the case.  You see these numbers, like over 140,000 businesses, 20,000, all these numbers, it could be easy to think that you’re alone if you’re experiencing failure, but you’re not.  These people are – shareholder letters don’t talk about the failures that are happening in life, and in business and Amazon, and so that’s what we’re here to – that’s what we’re here to shed some light on.  So like Casey talked about before, like Casey mentioned, we’re going to talk about just Casey – we’re going to talk about Casey’s experience with failure.

CASEY GAUSS:

Yay.

CAMERON YODER:

And just failure in general.  But it’s more than that.  We’re going to talk about his ability to turn failure into success.  And so that’s what this first half of the podcast is going to be, just about his experience with failure, his experience with turning failure into success, and then we’re going to jump into Amazon specific failure aspects.  Okay, so Casey, how do you feel right now?

CASEY GAUSS:

I feel like I’m hoping that I give some good value.  There is some pressure there.  That’s how I’m feeling.

CAMERON YODER:

There is some good pressure there.  But really, I mean Casey, this is my perspective.  Casey’s been through – he’s been through a lot, and obviously Viral Launch is growing right now, and he’s experienced a lot of success, and he’s also experienced failure throughout just his journey at Viral Launch and outside of Viral Launch.  And so I see an incredible perspective that he has to offer us, and if you don’t know Casey he’s a really good guy, and he just loves people in general.  And so we are here to provide value to you today.  So Casey, all right, let’s talk about failure here and more than that, turning failure into success.  But what are or were some of your most memorable failures early on just with business in general?

CASEY GAUSS:

Yeah, I mean so, you know, I’m 25 so I haven’t had too much time to fail too much, but definitely before Viral Launch there was some kind of notable failures that really ended up helping me along the way.  So I do want to talk about those.  Failure number one is, you know, I tried to create a web design business.  So I, you know, took some coding lessons, then naïvely thought I knew how to build websites.  And so I started this website design business, and my mom was dating a guy at the time who had his own car shop.  And so I was like hey man, like you don’t have a website?  I could easily build you a website, and it will only be $500, blah blah blah.  So getting started I thought it was going to take, you know, oh it will take three, four weeks or so, and it took like at least double that, and even so the website was not very good at all.  He was not happy, and but I’m really glad that I went through it, the reason being is like through trying to make this website I ended up learning so many different things around what it looks like to actually build websites.  I looked at – or I learned so much about like, okay, what does it look like to build a contract?  I was also trying to get other like website clients, which I don’t know why I didn’t have more time to build websites, but anyways, like started going through that process of trying to get other people to sign up so that I could build them a website.  So there’s a lot of cool learning experiences there, which we’ll touch on here in a moment. 

Another failure is, again, out of naïveté – naïveté I think it is.

CAMERON YODER:

Naïveté.

CASEY GAUSS:

Anyways, naïvely I was trying to build like this social network, right?  So who wasn’t like four years ago, five years ago or something?  But anyways, you know, this was – I’m really passionate about help helping people, and I thought I had a great idea for social network to help people.  So through this I made a ton of great connections kind of in the dev world in the business world and started really understanding what it’s like to build a business, let alone a social network.  And so again, just a ton of learning experiences through there.  I’ll get to those here in a moment.  So too big failures that I would like to talk about, web design business that, you know, I was in college trying to do that, learned a ton.  I’m talking like coding out like hand coding HTML, CSS like all that stuff, not like WordPress or something.  And then, yeah, secondly trying to build the social network.  So yeah, we’ll get to that here in a moment.

CAMERON YODER:

How – so you experienced those failures, and those stick out to you in your mind.  How would you say were you able to push past like the idea of failure, or how long did it take for you to get past that?

CASEY GAUSS:

I mean each one took like different – so the web design business, I knew pretty quickly that like, wow, this is really tough.  It’s taking a ton of my time, and I’m also just not that great at it.  So that one, you know, only took me like a month after I had completed like my first website.  Then failure number two, going back to the social network, that took a long time.  I was like still trying to build that probably for like a year, but there is like a ton of good that came out of that.  So how was I able to move past it?  So I’m definitely somebody that is so focused on the future, and I’m always excited about, you know, the opportunities or what can come out of the hard work that I’m putting in.  So like almost blindly I’m willing to fight through this difficult times or this hard work because I’m so excited about, you know, that light at the end of the tunnel that I’ll just continue to push forward and push forward.  And I know that by working hard is the only way that I can push forward.  If I’m not working hard, if I’m like oh, this sucks, like I’m just going to go coddle myself and watch Netflix or something, like I know that that’s not going to help me get to my goal, so I’m willing to kind of just put in the work to reach that light at the end of the tunnel.

CAMERON YODER:

There is a quote from Robert Herjavec who is one of the Shark Tank guys, right? 

CASEY GAUSS:

Yeah.

CAMERON YODER:

I just saw him speak the other week when I was in, when I was in Florida, and he had this – he said this quote and it really stuck out to me.  It actually has to do with this.  Robert said that the greatest people in life are the ones who don’t continue or spend time feeling sorry for themselves.  So it’s accepting something that has happened and moving past it, and kind of like Casey said, looking to the future and saying like okay, that happened.  I’m going to set that aside, and I’m going to look to the future.  But that’s – let’s talk about Viral Launch specifically now.  So let’s talk about the early days of Viral Launch.  Are there any specific failures, Casey, that stick out in your mind about establishing Viral Launch early on?

CASEY GAUSS:

I mean, there have been just an insane number of failures along the way.  Some of them were just like hey – you know the lesson there was just like hey, don’t do this again.  So for example, we used to run all of our promotions through an email list.  We didn’t have the website that we do now.  And so anyways, essentially someone would give us a code.  They’d give us a link to their product, and we’d send out an email with that coupon code.  It was a shareable coupon code.  People were setting multichannel fulfillment orders to hold the rest of their inventory.  So anyways, let’s say you wanted to give away 50 units today.  You would only keep 50 units available essentially in Seller Central, and then we would get rid of all those units, essentially, through the promotion.  So anyways, people would share a link and share the coupon.  And so we sent one out – or somebody wanted to give a – use their own URL that would like automatically redirect to like different keywords.  And so I was like I’m not very comfortable with that, but like we trust the company so we’ll do it.  And so we did it, and then after all the promotions had gone to the Amazon product it ended up diverting to their own website saying it had the same colors, like same font, same style, look and feel as our buyer group website, and they were just trying to sign up traffic.  They’re like oh, opt into our ultimate VIP group or whatever.  Just put in your email here.  So like that sucked because we couldn’t even turn it off. 

So that’s just a quick failure, but like some bigger ones that had some really good kind of learning lessons for me is, you know, early on I was so afraid of kind of growing the company.  I just felt like I was beholden to Amazon, I was beholden to this system, and I was so afraid that something was going to change and that if I hired someone I would have to let them go as soon as that change happened.  And in my mind that change was happening, you know, tomorrow or sometime in the very near future.  So for the first year and a half, like I didn’t try to grow Viral Launch very much.  Like it was all just organic, and I just kind of maintained things and handled customer service.  Like I just wasn’t building a business at that point because I was too afraid of Amazon kind of shutting things down or changing their algorithm.  And I really wish that in this particular case I could actually go back because what I have learned from that is essentially like you need to go hard, as hard as possible at any given moment and like there are always risks with running a business no matter what it is.  Uber, for example, even Uber has the risk of iOS not liking what they’re doing or something, right, and shutting down, competition, regulatory issues.  Like there’s risk inherent to every single business, and what I learned is like you have to go as hard as possible at any given time.  Like yes, you need to be smart, and you need to be like calculating risks, but if you are not going as hard as possible, like all your competitors are going to be, or some of your competitors are going to be.  It’s those guys that are going to have the leg up along the way.

CAMERON YODER:

So that idea comes from like what is holding people back.  Do you think that’s like a fear of failure?

CASEY GAUSS:

Yeah, I mean absolutely.  And this one, it was relatively calculated in terms of risk, but like I think that this definitely applies in the Amazon space.  Like we see so many people like back in the early days of incentivized reviews, right, like nobody wanted to do it because they didn’t – like there’s a number of different reasons, right, everything from like they didn’t think Amazon liked it, they didn’t like it or they thought it was like gaming the system, and it kind of was, right, but you were able to do it.  And so yes, all those people that did it ended up having their reviews removed, but the point here – but in reality – so for example, you know, I have a friend in a very competitive space, and he was giving away just thousands of units to review groups or whatever to get reviews, and he was just running thousands of promotions for ranking.  So anyways, for like one of the highest volume keywords on Amazon at the time, he had like 14,000 reviews, and he was ranking incredibly well.  Amazon did come through and they removed like 10,000 of those reviews, but he had more reviews than everybody else at that time and is still selling like amazingly well.  And so this is like another great relevant example of somebody that went as hard as possible in the given like context of the rules, and that really, really set them up for long-term success versus all the people that were saying, you know, oh, you know, I’m not going to do that.  Amazon is probably going to get rid of it at some time, at some point.  I’m really focused on building a business, and it’s like, you know, that’s great, but that person is probably making $50,000 compared to our friend that is making, you know, $40 million a year.  So like it’s a huge lesson, I think, for me and something that I do wish that I could take back.  There’s other, like a lot of failures in Viral Launch where we tried creating all kinds of like new tools, new URLs, like we would go spend a bunch of time trying these things out, and I’m glad that we did it because like that shows us, you know, Thomas Edison’s quote is like –

CAMERON YODER:

I didn’t fail –

CASEY GAUSS:

Yeah, I learned a thousand ways not to make a lightbulb or something like that, and it’s like the same is true for Viral Launch.  Like I had this idea like oh, I wonder if relaunches would be super effective because basically like if you look in the UI Amazon says like oh, buy this product again.  And so I was wondering, I wonder if Amazon appreciates people that – or products that have a lot of repeat buyers.  Maybe they will rank those ones higher.  So what we tried doing is running launches, like so you just ran a launch for, you know, your fish oil, and then you come back like 30 days and you run another launch to the same exact people to one, obviously they want a refill, especially on consumables, but then two, maybe Amazon sees that and says wow, these repeat purchases are super valuable, or whatever, so we definitely want to get this product ranking because they are getting a lot of people to rebuy.  And so anyways, went, built out a bit, like I’m always someone that likes to build kind of a minimum viable product, an MVP, so anyways that’s what we did, and it didn’t produce any, you know, significant results really, and so we moved on.

CAMERON YODER:

You spent time, and that translates to the Amazon space actually really well.  Like I feel like paradox of choice comes into play here as well where there are almost too many options to choose from, and so you slow down as a result.  However people also, I think, in the Amazon space fear like the result, the end result of what’s going to happen by like picking one specific thing over the other or like the fear of failure combines with the paradox of choice really to just slow down people.  In this case like that’s a very specific example, but you chose to just move forward, literally not knowing what was going to happen.  And you spent time and resources doing that, like time and resources that could have been put towards something else, like something else that you knew was more effective, right, but instead you chose to focus on that out of the possibility that it was going to work.

CASEY GAUSS:

Yeah, I read this book called Chaos Monkeys.  It’s really cool.  It goes, you know – anyways, I won’t get into it, but one of the quotes – the guy worked at Facebook and he said you know at Facebook they try everything.  So they try 10 things.  Seven of those things fail.  Two of those things break even, and then one of them is like a moonshot and, you know, ends up being Facebook Messenger or Facebook Newsfeed, or like this huge thing that has billions of dollars of impact on the company and then, you know, on the world, essentially.  And so like – but you would never have gotten to that one thing, or the probability of you getting to that one thing is a lot lower if you didn’t try the nine others.

CAMERON YODER:

Right.  If, Casey, if you would go back, if you could go back in time would you change anything about the mistakes that we talked about or that you’ve made in the past, or do you think you would let yourself experience those failures?

CASEY GAUSS:

Yeah, I mean so for the younger self failures, the web design business, like the app or whatever, like I would not change those at all.  Like I learned so much around kind of building a business.  I learned a ton around development, which then helped me to develop like the first versions of Viral Launch.  And so if I didn’t have that prior experience I wouldn’t have been able to create versions one of Viral Launch, and I didn’t have the money to hire other people to create those first versions, and so Viral Launch probably wouldn’t be here if I weren’t always trying those other things.  Or if I would have let those other things get me down, then Viral Launch wouldn’t have been here because yeah, I felt like I was just failing at everything that I was trying.  There was another thing in between Viral Launch and the social media app or whatever that also was failing.  But like I continued to try, and if I would have said wow, I just failed on three things, like this isn’t for me, I need to move on, then yeah, Viral Launch wouldn’t be here.  And like that’s thousands, tens of thousands of lives that we get to impact here at Viral Launch, so like obviously like I’m super, super grateful that I was able to continue.  The one thing that I did mention that I would change is yeah, going much harder at the start of Viral Launch.

CAMERON YODER:

Yeah, which would maybe increase the chance of failing in other areas, like if you would go harder, but then you would continue to pick yourself back up and keep on going. 

CASEY GAUSS:

Right.

CAMERON YODER:

In terms of leveraging failure, so we’ve talked about failure and how you’ve like kind of gotten past it, but when talking about just sellers and business, business owners and establishers, entrepreneurs in general, how in your opinion, Casey, can people best leverage failure for growth?

CASEY GAUSS:

Yeah, I mean I think that one, it’s more your like adversity to failure that you have to cope with.  Again, looking at the Facebook example, like you have to try those 10 things statistically, like you’ve got to try those 10 things to find that one, right?  And so I just can’t encourage you enough to just get out there and try.  I’m someone that, like doesn’t really like planning that much because like yes, we can plan, but we don’t know what’s actually going to happen until we get there.  Who is it, like Mike Tyson?  Some boxer has a saying that it’s like everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face, and it’s like that’s exactly what happens in entrepreneurship, selling on Amazon.  It’s like you have a plan for something and things may go slightly according to plan, or they may go pretty close to according to plan, but inevitably there’s going to be things that you did not expect or not to the degree in which you’re seeing them, and it’s really your ability to adjust, cope with that and continue pushing forward that is really going to determine your success long-term.

CAMERON YODER:

In terms of seeing failure, like early signs of failure, let’s say there are – some failures – there are certain aspects of failure that are really good, right, like if you take – you can take any failure really and learn something from it.  But let’s talk about maybe noticing certain failures early on.  Like would you say there are early signs of failure from what you’ve experienced?  Like have you caught something early that you knew was just not going to be good or profitable or beneficial for Viral Launch and you were able to, since you saw it early, catch it and not fail from it and succeed?  What do you think?

CASEY GAUSS:

Yeah, I mean I don’t have any specific examples, but like, obviously trying something out – let’s go back to the retargeting launches, like I had the notion that – let’s say in this example I had the notion that it wasn’t going to work, but the potential reward of it working and the – versus kind of the amount of time I was going to have to put in, which was relatively low, the kind of risk reward thing there was like super high on the reward side, so it was definitely worth me trying out.  So even if I thought that there was a really good chance that it was going to fail, the potential reward was so high that it was definitely worth me jumping into.

CAMERON YODER:

That’s – I think a big part of it is the mentality or the acceptance that failure is going to happen, right?  Like it’s just an awareness.  Like if you go through everything on Amazon specifically thinking that failure is not going to happen, then obviously you’re going to be surprised when it does, just like the punch in the face sort of thing.

CASEY GAUSS:

Right, yeah, and again, like the risk reward calculation, if like the reward is an extra $5000 a month, let’s say it’s like a review strategy, right, like this against TOS review strategy.  So if the risk there is that your account gets suspended for a sustained period of time or maybe even banned – I doubt banned – but anyways, let’s just say banned, or by getting an extra, you know, by doubling your review rate you could make an extra $10,000 a month, well, getting banned from Amazon, the risk reward is not there.  An extra $10,000 a month, or I could potentially get banned, like you should not do it.

CAMERON YODER:

Right.  Let’s – one aspect of failure and success, I think, is that you can learn from other people’s failure to benefit yourself.  So really like you don’t necessarily have to fail yourself in that specific area to learn from it, right?  You can learn from someone else’s failures.

CASEY GAUSS:

Yeah, 100%.

CAMERON YODER:

And so let’s break down Amazon space specifically now.  Like let’s focus on Amazon.  Let’s talk about the biggest areas that we see sellers kind of just experiencing failure in.  Casey, what do you think some of the biggest – some of those biggest areas are that listeners can benefit or learn from?

CASEY GAUSS:

Yep, I think the two main things are product selection and then listening to the wrong people, misinformation.  I actually think that probably misinformation is the number one reason people are failing.  Actually I’m not sure.  It’s either product selection or people listening to misinformation.  With product selection I mean there are so many – if you have heard me talk at a, or like at an event, like some of my presentations go into if I’m talking about product selection, or sourcing products, or product discovery or whatever.  I talk a lot about kind of the reasons why people fail in product selection.  Just the high-level overview is that people don’t understand their budget and their goals, and so they’ll look at a product and say, yep, it looks like people are making a lot of money.  I want to jump in here and make the same amount of money.  And like the thing is is they were looking at the fish oil market where it’s, you know, super competitive, or the essential oil diffuser market, which is super competitive, and they have a budget of like $5000 or something, right?  And so like sure you can kind of make money, but you have no ability to hit the sales volume that these guys are doing, which is like $500,000 a month or something.  So just not understanding kind of their budget and getting into markets they have no business being in

CAMERON YODER:

It’s so easy.  I see this so often where people see the numbers.  They see the numbers, and they want to make it a reality that they can get those numbers, right?  Or they say like oh, you know, like $50,000 a month, like yeah, I can make that work.  Or oh I see one guy that’s making, like you said, I see one guy that’s making $50,000 in this market of fish oil.  All the others – sure, all the others are making $25,000 or even less, like $8000 a month, but this guy’s making $50,000, so I am going to make $50,000.

CASEY GAUSS:

Yep, that’s the other problem is like looking at one particular ASIN and then assuming that that is the case for the market.  And so yeah, they look at this guy – this one guy’s making – I’ve seen this a lot.  One guy is making $50,000, you know $100,000 a month and then everybody else is making $8000 a month, and you know, you’re like well if I source that same exact ASIN I can get the same results.  And like what you don’t know is what is driving that person’s sales.  Are they driving like a ton of traffic through Facebook ads?  Is it somebody that has a brand you just don’t know about?  Like where are those sales coming from?  Like you just don’t know that.

CAMERON YODER:

And that’s – and going back to your original point, it all comes down to picking the right product.  Like it all starts – if you think about the process of Amazon and everything that happens after, like how you get money, where you get money from, of course there are strategies surrounding everything, but it all starts with how or what you select for your product to sell.

CASEY GAUSS:

Yep, I think that covers kind of everything, or just having an unrealistic expectation on kind of margins or what price you can charge.  You know, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.  You know, so people come and say well, mine’s way higher quality than everybody else, so I’m going to charge double the price.  And then like at the end of the day people don’t want a grill brush that’s super high quality, and they don’t want to pay $40 for a grill brush.  They want to pay the $20 average because they just want to clean their grill, and it’s like not that big of a deal.

CAMERON YODER:

Right.  Or some people rely on bundling to solve their product selection issues.

CASEY GAUSS:

People don’t know what keywords their products actually sell through.  They’re just like you know I’m really passionate about this type of tea or something, and nobody searches any of those keywords, so now you have to go rank for the generic keyword tea, and like that’s really hard because nobody’s heard of your flavor and they’re really sketched of it.  Anyways –

CAMERON YODER:

Well, let’s touch on the second-biggest because both – there were both of these points.  It was product selection, and there was just information in the Amazon space.  Casey, what do you think?

CASEY GAUSS:

Yeah, information, like so this is going on – this actually just happened yesterday.  Someone posted – this guy, you know, I met him at a conference and like I really liked him.  I just recently have just been so upset about misinformation or just get very kind of agitated around misinformation.  And so anyways, met this guy at a conference.  He’s definitely like a younger seller.  I don’t think he’s, you know, probably doing more than $5000, $10,000 a month.  Anyways, yeah, he had this guy come on who is a quote seven-figure seller.  I don’t know if he really is, but let’s say he is.  And he comes on and he says, you know, giveaways don’t work.  Amazon made this huge algorithm change – algorithmic change, he said, which is different than an algorithm change, but anyways, not to be mad about specifics, but anyways, he said algorithm change, and like basically Amazon – like giveaways don’t work anymore.  Amazon is only looking at giveaways, and they only have kind of 25% the weight that they used to like a month ago.  So yeah, at the time of recording this it’s like May 11th, I think, and so anyways, he’s saying like all the way through March and I think April they were working, but like starting in May or late April they stopped working.  And it’s like absolutely not true.  We have just tons of case studies.  I was just talking to the team.  Like we have tons of case studies over the last two weeks where people have been super successful.  But so, so many people are reaching out to me saying like, are launches really done?  And now it’s just like spreading.  Like these rumors spread like wildfire, just saying like launches don’t work.  And so I don’t think this is that big of a deal, but if this rumor, which is absolutely not true, can spread that quickly from a guy with, you know, just a few thousand subscribers on YouTube, just imagine all the other rumors that are spreading around Amazon.  And so we try to do a good job of dispelling those rumors, but like, you know, our audience is only a portion of the overall Amazon.  Like nobody has the entire Amazon audience.

CAMERON YODER:

You should go – well, you don’t have to listen to it, but literally our first episode.  It was our first episode.  It was September 28, 2017 that was about the rumor of 90% off promotions.

CASEY GAUSS:

These rumors come up like we need to really go back and look to see how often.  I think it’s at least every two, three months because this – we just had to post a case study like in February, I think, or somewhere around February because everyone was saying oh, promotions aren’t working.  And it’s like dude, we’re running hundreds of launches right now, and they’re working pretty well.

CAMERON YODER:

This is fear.  This is what fear does to people.  And of course like that’s not to say Amazon wouldn’t or can’t change something tomorrow.

CASEY GAUSS:

Yeah, I mean I do expect them to change this at some time, and so does everybody else, but like I’ve been expecting that for 3 ½ years, and they just haven’t yet.  The data isn’t there.  And you know, again, like we talk about, like I think one of our major advantages is that we just have so much data, so much access to data that, you know, this guy’s one large didn’t work.  I didn’t watch the rest of the video, but anyways I think he did one promotion.  It didn’t work that well, but it was like a brand-new product, and there was like all these reasons why – like he didn’t give away enough units.  It was like to competitive, like I don’t know.  Anyways, everyone was kind of roasting him because it didn’t seem to be kind of like a great scientific study I guess. 

Anyways, so anyways, just a lot of [unintelligible 0:29:50.2] a lot of misinformation.  It doesn’t matter where it’s coming from.  Again, like I said, we’ve tried to dispel a number of myths on here, and we’ll continue to do that.  But we just hear all kinds of crazy things.  Like one example that really upset me – I was at a conference and the people like – I was at a conference and the people also run a course, and so through this course they teach you when you get a product list it up on Amazon when you first get it checked into FBA.  List it up on Amazon for like $2 or $1 so that friends and family can buy it at full price, they can leave a review, and then it will be verified.  And you do this up until – and you only have like one bullet point or something and they title and like one image or something.  So anyways it’s hocus-pocus, and they tell you that once like you get all the reviews that you want, then you can raise the price, you can add in all the information to your listing and then it will finally be able to be found in the rankings.  First off, products can be found in the rankings if they’re listed on Amazon and there are keywords associated with the listing, which can happen just by being in a particular category.  So first off, that myth, busted.  Like it could show up in the results.  You know, there’s these listings from name brands like Dove or whatever that have terrible, terrible listings, and they’re still ranking. 

So anyways, there’s that, but the main problem is that when you raise your price a lot of the time from $2 to $20 or $40, however much you want to charge, like you lose the buy box for a good period of time, and so nobody can even sell.  So this guy had like an iPhone or a Galaxy S8 case or something, and it was like just launching or maybe – I don’t know.  Anyways, the newest phone case, and that product was about to be announced or about to go live, and so he needed to have it up and able to sell on Amazon.  But he couldn’t have the buy box if he charged any more than like $2.50.  But you can’t charge $2.50, so he was like not capable of selling that product anymore all because this course taught him to do that.

CAMERON YODER:

So there’s a lot – I mean there’s a lot of, a lot, a lot of misinformation out there.  Even you pay money – let’s say you pay money, you go to a conference.  There’s probably a lot – well we’ve seen a lot, like first-hand a lot of misinformation there.  So what should people do?

CASEY GAUSS:

You know, I don’t know the answer to that, right?

CAMERON YODER:

It’s a hard question.

CASEY GAUSS:

Because like I don’t.  I think it comes down to you need to be doing – I think you should be listening to everything.  You should be skeptical about everything everybody says, including us.  I think that you should be testing everything and just be very vigilant around making sure that the data that you are getting or are able to get, you are paying attention to and making decisions based off of that.

CAMERON YODER:

That’s – the only thing I would add to that, which we’ve talked about this before, but questioning everything that you hear.  The most – we see sellers experience failure when they just blindly accept what other people are saying and then follow through with that.  I think questioning everything is really important.  I also think surrounding yourself with like-minded people who are critical is really important as well because if you’re in a group of people who accept everything, then it’s going to be hard to say no.  If you’re in a group of people that are critical and are testing everything together, it’s going to be easier to find, I think, truth in that.

CASEY GAUSS:

Yep, absolutely.

CAMERON YODER:

The only other thing, the only other things that I see Amazon sellers maybe experiencing failure in is – we’ve talked about this before as well, and Casey talks about this at conferences, but a lack of aggression.  If you’re confident in the data that you’re seeing and confident in your product, just being aggressive with how you sell, with product launches, with sourcing, being aggressive really speeds up the process.  Like Casey talked about before with just testing a lot of things out and moving forward with them and punching it hard, that can really progress your business quickly.

CASEY GAUSS:

Yeah, I mean there’s just a number of them.  Like so some people will quit their job too soon because they just want to be able to check that box on I quit my job.  And so then they start pulling out too much capital from the Amazon business, which is something that we’ll be talking about here soon.  People have a hard time with inventory forecasting.  So people run out of stock all the time, and people start targeting bad keywords, or like people get very emotionally tied.  This is something that we’re trying to figure out what the actual topic is or how to build a podcast out of this, but there is this great article – it’s super long – kind of about like the Chinese and their mindsets around Amazon and how they’re able to have so much success .  And one of the reasons was just because they don’t get very emotional about their products or their brands, and they’re just focused on the data, and like they make decisions super fast.  And again, so I think one of them is just getting emotionally tied to your products, to your business, to where it’s impairing your ability to make like good, logical decisions.

CAMERON YODER:

All right, Casey.  We talked about the biggest failures for Amazon sellers, but in terms of setting themselves up for success, how can Amazon sellers best – how do you think Amazon sellers can best set themselves up for success?

CASEY GAUSS:

I think the number one thing is don’t over-analyze.  Like so many people are like spend months and months just looking at the data and don’t actually pull the trigger, don’t make a decision.  Like you’re going to get so much more data when you actually pull that trigger, make that decision, jump in and see that kind of experience for yourself.  So again, like I – and this kind of comes with being aggressive to a degree, like I just want to encourage you to jump in and move as quickly as possible, like your competitors are doing it, and so you need to be doing it the same.

CAMERON YODER:

I think it’s really important to also know your capacity.  Know what you’re capable of because if you put yourself in the way of moving quickly, like you will experience failure.  I mean we’re telling you on this podcast you’re going to experience failure, but if you experience failure beyond your means, then it’s going to be really hard for you to dig yourself out of that. 

CASEY GAUSS:

Oh yeah.

CAMERON YODER:

If you take a lot of money and you can’t pay it off, you’re going to be in a tough spot.  So I would say be smart about moving quickly, but also move quickly.  Like there’s a fine – there’s a hard balance there.  It’s really important to know what exactly you’re capable of, and just like we talked about before, setting yourself up for success in the Amazon space specifically looks like expecting failure, like expect failure to happen.  Know that failure is going to happen so it won’t surprise you when you experience it.

CASEY GAUSS:

Yeah, and have a plan with that.  So then have a plan for if things do fail, have that contingency.  And it’s like okay, that’s fine.  I ordered far too many units for this holiday period.  Let’s say, you know, you sell Valentine’s Day items.  Like sure, maybe you ordered too many, but it was kind of a go big go home situation, and you would rather have too much inventory than too little because it’s so much money that you’re missing out on, and so then make sure you have a good place where you can go liquidate that inventory for a decent price, or maybe at the very least get it out of Amazon so you’re not paying those long-term storage fees.

So that’s all for failures for us, guys.  I just wanted to thank you again for tuning in.  I, you know, know that being an entrepreneur, we can definitely feel alone, and we can definitely get really down on ourselves for failing, right?  Like we look at the Mark Zuckerbergs of the world, we look at the [anchors 0:37:03.4] of the world, we look at, you know, all these people that have been so successful, and we don’t see what their path to that success was.  We don’t see all the failures that they were making.  And so I think it’s very easy for us to put it on ourselves and say well, shoot, you know, I can’t really measure up to Mark Zuckerberg, or Bill Gates or whoever because like, you know, they just had this meteoric rise to success, and I would imagine that on that path to success they had so many, so many micro failures, but they just continued to move on and push ahead.  Like Mark Zuckerberg, for example, had a bunch of things that he tried getting off the ground before the Facebook came to be.  So like I just hope that this podcast, if you are in that stage where things maybe aren’t going as well as you would hope this can be kind of that little pick me up to show you again or just to remind you and encourage you that hey, this is just part of the process.  This is making you the much better – a much better version of yourself that is going to be that much more successful, you know, in the next phase of business.  So yeah, hopefully a little encouragement for you.

CAMERON YODER:

We do actually really want to hear from you guys concerning this topic, just concerning failure and what failure you guys have experienced or have pushed past and experienced success from that failure.  So our question of the week has to do with failure, and it simply is what failure have you experienced and/or also what success have you experienced from that failure?  So in order to answer that question, or if you have any other questions regarding failure, hit us up on Facebook, just seriously DM us, hit us up on the DMs.  It could even be Instagram, but Facebook if you pull out your phone right now, literally right now, and you – unless you’re driving – and you look us up on Facebook.  You can literally just message us and we will get back to you.  You can also call in.  Our number is 317-721-6590 to drop us a line.  Until next time, remember, the data is out there.

3 Ways To Increase Amazon Sales by Differentiating Your Products

In Amazon’s recent letter to shareholders, the company announced that for the first time ever, “more than half of the units sold on Amazon worldwide were from third-party sellers.” With every passing day, competition on Amazon gets more intense. It may seem like many of the quick-win markets are quickly becoming crowded, but there are often easy opportunities to put new and differentiated products out there that, with a little help, can increase Amazon sales.

In order to stay relevant on the world’s largest ecommerce marketplace, you have to find new ways to differentiate your products while keeping costs low.  Whether you’re just sourcing a product or already selling, we’ve got 3 simple tips to help you increase Amazon sales by differentiating your products.

TIP #1 — Before you source, find market gaps to fill

As you narrow down your list of product ideas and hone in on a market, start reading competitor product reviews. You want to identify common complaints and recurring frustrations.

Are most of the products in the market flimsy and cheap? Maybe customers were looking for a different version of the product. Maybe they felt their options were too expensive.

Once you’ve identified a few common complaints, ask your supplier if they can make changes to address these pain points. You’ll want to make sure that any changes to the product are inexpensive and that your costs will still be low enough for you to compete in your market when it comes to price.

In other words, don’t add a $2.00 improvement to a $3.00 product. Keep your costs low while improving on the current best selling products in the market. It could be as simple as choosing a different color or material for your product without even changing the function.

Just make sure that demand for that change is there. Don’t ask your supplier to make you an aquamarine lemon squeezer just because it’s your favorite color. Look at the numbers to make sure they support your decision.

You can use Keyword Research to find if there is demand for these differentiating features. For example, if you search the term iphone case with Keyword Research, you’ll find iphone 6s case blue gets 1,660 exact searches a month and blue iphone 6s case gets 2,494 exact searches a month.

This demonstrates a definite desire for blue iphone cases. But there are only about 2 listings on page 1 for the term iphone case that are blue. With almost 2,500 searches a month, you can probably assume that blue is a desirable color for this product for a portion of the market.

It makes sense to do this kind of research during the sourcing process so that you can evaluate the cost of differentiating a product before you jump into a market. But this is also something you can do once you have a product that is selling. You can always ask your supplier to make small changes to improve your product.  This all might seem like nitpicking, but each tweak will help you increase Amazon sales for your products.  

TIP #2 — Show shoppers that your product is better with your hero image

Photos are still a differentiator. Until the majority of sellers begin to actually invest in high quality photos, this still remains one of the best ways to differentiate your product.

If nothing else, invest in a few quality studio shots to use for your hero image. Your hero image is the main image for your product – the one that shoppers see on a search result page.

By purchasing a few professional hero images, you can split test them to find the optimal image for you product.

Product photography is extremely undervalued by most FBA sellers but so important to increase Amazon sales. It is the way that people judge your product. Even before they see price, shoppers see your hero image.

Elements of a hero image that gains clicks and conversions:

  • A spotless, professionally edited, pure white background
  • Crisp, clean, and accurate portrayal of the product
  • Expert composition that shows off your product and provides the information shoppers need about what is included

Being informative with your photos does not mean putting text on your images. If you want messaging in your hero image, put it on the packaging for your product. Using text in your main image is against Amazon’s Product Image Requirements, and it clutters the images, making it look tacky and unprofessional.

It’s not always enough to just get shoppers to a product page. Once they are there, use lifestyle images to help shoppers understand how the product is used, what size it is, and how it might look in their day-to-day lives.

Use well-written Amazon SEO copy that helps shoppers understand the benefits of your product. Then, once you’ve convinced a shopper that your product is the best, make sure they have a great experience. Speedy and professional customer response go a long way when questions and complaints come in.

TIP #3 — Expand your product’s visibility with Sponsored Ads

It’s not enough to put a product up on Amazon and just expect it to start selling. Make sure shoppers can find it by running a launch and/or running sponsored ads. Even if you run a launch and are ranking on page one for your main keyword, sponsored ads can help expand your visibility and increase Amazon sales.

You can use Keyword Research to find high-volume keywords that are hyper relevant to your product. Use the keywords that you find to set up broad match campaigns. Let them run for a week or more, and then see which keywords are most profitable for you.

Take the most successful keywords from your broad match campaign and put them into a phrase match campaign with slightly higher bids. Then let it run for another week before you come back and reevaluate. If there are a few keywords that are really performing well, put them into an exact match campaign and increase your bid a little more.

In this way, you can cater your sponsored ad spend so that it is optimized to increase Amazon sales. When you find the best keywords for your product, you can hit the sweet spot of minimal spend and maximum return. A small ad spend can go a long way to increasing your product’s visibility, sales, and overall ranking.

It’s not too late to get into a good market. Find that sweet spot in the market by differentiating your products. Discover the perfect product to sell today with the Viral Launch sourcing software suite.

 

3 Amazon SEO Tips from Viral Launch Lead Copywriter Yale Schalk (Follow the Data Ep. 22)

3 Amazon SEO Tips from Viral Launch Lead Copywriter Yale Schalk (Follow the Data Ep. 22)

Keywords are what set your listing up to rank well and sell well, but there’s a catch. People also need to understand what your product is and what it does from your copy. How can you inform shoppers and do Amazon search optimization at the same time? Join hosts Cameron Yoder and CEO Casey Gauss for this conversation with Viral Launch Lead Copywriter Yale Schalk. And find out how to set up the best possible listing with these 3 Amazon SEO tips.

 

Listen on iTunes   Listen on Stitcher

Follow the Data Show Notes

Podcast Transcript

CAMERON YODER:
Contrary to common belief, getting ranking on Amazon is not about lowering your BSR. It’s about getting sales attributed to a keyword. Keywords are what set your listing up to rank well and sell well, but there’s a catch. People also need to understand what your product is and what it does from your copy. How can you inform shoppers and capture all your product’s keywords at the same time?

I’m Cameron Yoder, your host for Follow the Data: Your Journey to Amazon FBA Success. In this show we leverage the data we’ve accumulated at Viral Launch from over 30,000 product launches and our experience working with 6500 brands to help you understand the big picture when it comes to Amazon and, more importantly, the best practices for success as an Amazon seller.

In today’s episode I sit down with our Lead Listing Specialist, Yale Schalk, to talk about the best practices for writing an Amazon listing. We’ll talk about the keyword research, writing for Amazon SEO and how to convert shoppers. Let’s jump in.

So okay, we have Yale in with us today. Casey’s also sitting in on this.

CASEY GAUSS:
What’s up, guys?

CAMERON YODER:
So we’re talking to Yale today about listing optimizations. First, Yale, thank you so much for coming in on the show. How are you feeling about being on the podcast?

YALE SCHALK:
Awesome. Awesome, Cam. Really, really excited to debut on our expertly-produced podcast, which by the way I just want to say that everyone should be subscribed to, and you know, every morning you wake up just find your nearest rooftop and shout it and tell everyone. But yeah, excited for that and really excited to kind of jump into some key information that I really know is going to help a lot of people out there.

CAMERON YODER:
Yale is also already on the ball with recommending the podcast, which is great. I love it. Yale is our Lead Listing Specialist, okay? And he’s been a veteran writer with 10 years of experience writing about retail products. So he’s written for brands like Nike, Adidas and Reebok and is known in the office for his excellent taste in sneakers, okay? So actually Yale, what is your favorite pair of sneakers?

YALE SCHALK:
Oh, wow, that’s – it’s literally an impossible thing to answer. You know, obviously, I was raised on Michael Jordan and Air Jordan sneakers, so I can at least narrow it down to that, but from there it’s all bets are off. There’s just too many.

CAMERON YODER:
Well, all that being said, Yale is definitely deserving to be on this podcast talking about listing optimization when it comes to Amazon specifically. But before we dive into Amazon-specific SEO and Amazon-specific listing ops, I want Yale – Yale, can you touch on just SEO in general, SEO as a practice?

YALE SCHALK:
Absolutely, for sure. So you know, when people think of, you know, the term SEO or, you know, properly search engine optimization, you know they think of Google, right? They think of, you know, their minds go right to Google because Google is this ubiquitous thing that is just out there. So but SEO is not confined to Google. You know, it’s like if you’ve ever seen the movie The Matrix, you know at the end when Neo sees everything in just this digital rain, and it’s just like streaming lines of green code everywhere, you know, I like to think of SEO like that. I think it’s, you know, it’s very much in the fiber of anything that you search on the internet, and it’s necessary, you know, any time that you type something into a search bar.

CASEY GAUSS:
Well put.

CAMERON YODER:
Yeah, The Matrix.

CASEY GAUSS:
I love that analogy. If you haven’t seen The Matrix you just missed out on a great analogy.

CAMERON YODER:
Watch The Matrix, buy some sneakers, and then you’ll be set. So that’s general SEO, right? So can you move further maybe into like, I don’t know, Amazon or Google specifically?

YALE SCHALK:
Absolutely. So the way it works is basically that, you know, the input for a search is almost always language, and then the search algorithm uses that language to return a set of results, and then to get your content in that results list you have to give the algorithm basically what it wants. So then that begs the question, okay, so what does the algorithm want? In terms of Google SEO, that’s about proving credibility with, you know, relevant headings and meta-descriptions and links, and of course language for Amazon. It’s different from the standard SEO set up in that the results exist within Amazon’s platform. You know, for example, you don’t navigate to a different domain when you click on a result. So Google looks for site credibility with links and traffic, while Amazon looks for language, you know, or specifically keywords. So it’s really important for everyone to keep in mind that Amazon is really its own ecosystem when it comes to how searches are conducted and how those searches help determine the results you get when you or, you know, your potential customer, is looking for something.

CASEY GAUSS:
And I think it’s important to mention that – I think this is a stat from either 2016 or 2017, but over I think it’s like 55% of product searches begin on Amazon. So when it comes to king of search engines, when it comes to product searches, I think Amazon takes the crown.

YALE SCHALK:
Absolutely.

CAMERON YODER:
And that’s something I don’t think a lot of people think of, simply put, Amazon as a search engine. But in fact, like you said, it is, and listings in a sense really are all about SEO when it comes to Amazon specifically. So Yale, would you be able to introduce to us just some tips, maybe three basic tips that you have for everyone when it comes to listing optimization and keyword optimization on Amazon?

YALE SCHALK:
Absolutely, for sure. And you know, I think the good set up for this is like, you know, obviously everyone wants the highest visibility for their product. You know, ideally that’s page one. That’s what everyone wants to be on Amazon. So you really cannot afford to overlook the importance of keywords when assembling your product listing. You know you can have, and you know I never tire of saying this, but like you can have breathtaking photos, and you can have the most exquisite product description, but you know, without the proper keywords and the correct placement of those keywords in the listing, you know you’re basically – you know you’ve got a Ferrari with no engine. You know, it’s looking amazing, but it’s not going anywhere. So I just really want to emphasize, you know, first off that, you know, you can’t just throw information together and hope something happens. You know, I can tell you that it won’t. It doesn’t work that way. So it’s vital to get that keyword foundation in place.

So I would say for the first tip is plurals, plurals of words. So Amazon says that they account for plurals of words. So if you search swaddle blanket, you know, you’ll get different results than if you search swaddle blankets. So some listings will have, you know, both the plural and the singular form of the keyword while others won’t. So when someone searches blankets it’s, you know, hard for the algorithm to determine, you know, what exactly that person is expecting. So the algorithm is very smart, but it has its blind spots, and so one of the blind spots is it doesn’t know, you know, for example for this example that, you know, if you’re looking for multi-packs of swaddle blankets or if they’re looking for all the swaddle blankets on Amazon, so having both forms of the word, you know, or multiple forms of those words, those keywords, is really important for you to show up in any search related to your main search terms.

CAMERON YODER:
So tip number one, overall is suggesting to use both the singular and plural form of your primary keyword, or how many keywords do you think this would apply to?

YALE SCHALK:
I would say as long as you’re starting with your root keyword you want to kind of work in maybe the most common – and this is something that you’ll be able to kind of see in your keyword research, but and you’ll be able to notice patterns of what people are searching for, but usually you’ll just find like those simple little variations, those little, like little degrees of that root word, you know, just plurals and just different tenses of the word that people might throw in there when they’re searching for products.

CASEY GAUSS:
I think it’s important to mention also, I think one common mistake, and I don’t know if this is one of the tips, but you know, people always want to know am I indexed for this word. So just because you’re indexing for a word does not mean that you’re driving the same amount of keyword power or keyword juice, however you want to refer to it, to those words. So this is an important concept, and you’ll hear more about it.

YALE SCHALK:
For sure.

CAMERON YODER:
Let’s go on to tip number two.

YALE SCHALK:
Tip number two. Tip number two is keyword stuff the title. Yeah, you heard that right. Keyword stuff the title. So there’s been – this has always sort of been a philosophical debate on, you know, are you going to be rewarded if you keyword stuff? Are you going to be penalized if you keyword stuff? But I can tell you in the case of Amazon, in the Amazon world you’re going to be rewarded. So the title is definitely the most important, you know, real estate in your listing in terms of SEO. So you should really use as many keywords as you can fit, you know, without compromising quality or under-serving your character limit or overstepping that. I mean when you overstep that’s definitely something you’ll be penalized for, but so you know, what do I mean by compromising quality? So you know you have to make sure that you’re showing shoppers the information they’re looking for, like you know, things like ounces or fluid ounces might be important to consider, you know, if they’re considering price, or you know, certain features like dimensions or certifications like organic are there to include. So you know, this tip is really about just including as many super relevant keywords, you know, while leaving just enough space for those important, you know, product tidbits that people are looking for.

CASEY GAUSS:
And I always like to say, you know, I would much rather have, you know, a 3% lower click through rate because my title isn’t as beautiful but rank for, you know, twice as many keywords or three times as many keywords simply because I’m putting them in the title versus having that super short, you know, elegant, you know, four-word title that has like my brand name and just a few other words. Let’s say it’s a frying pan, so brand, you know, stainless steel frying pan. There are so many additional words that you need to be including in your title to maximize the position and total volume of keywords that you can rank for; well, rank well for. And so yeah, I would much rather have this longer title, rank for so many more keywords than you have this beautiful title that may drive slightly higher click through rates.

CAMERON YODER:
Yale, what’s your opinion on having the brand name in a title?

YALE SCHALK:
It’s awesome that you mentioned that because I was just going to follow up on that point. Yeah, a thing that I really want to talk about for a second is not insisting on including brand names in titles. I empathize with, you know, every seller that, you know, wants to do that. I mean, everyone wants to have the competitive advantage and get their brand out there, but I would say that you have to apply a pass/fail in terms of your brand name. So look at it this way. You just have to treat it as another keyword, and if there aren’t a ton of people searching for your brand name, then it’s always a good rule of thumb to substitute in an actual, you know, high-volume search term instead of your brand name. And I know that there might be a conception out there that, you know, people aren’t going to see your brand and you know, that’s something like that’s going to be a disadvantage for you, but you know, don’t worry. It will show up – you know, your brand is going to show up in the subheading. You just want to make sure that you make the most use of the title.

CASEY GAUSS:
Yeah, to summarize it, people, you know, aren’t searching your brand name. If they are searching your brand name they’re going to see it in the search results. It says, you know, by brand in most categories. And even if not, if they’re searching for your brand name they should know what your packaging looks like because you should have cohesive labels or packaging or whatever in your photos. They will recognize your brand. You should not be concerned about them recognizing or not recognizing your brand. And by including that brand name in your title you’re just wasting super, super valuable character space.

CAMERON YODER:
I think the question should be what more valuable words you can put into your title that would take the place of your brand name.

YALE SCHALK:
Absolutely.

CAMERON YODER:
Yale, what is tip number three?

YALE SCHALK:
Tip three, prioritize keywords and then write your copy. Yeah, this is another thing that I’ve seen a lot where maybe sellers get focused on, you know, really fleshing out their copy, their listing, and they’re focused on, you know, stuffing as much information and even sort of messaging, you know, that they’ve come up with into the listing. But I would say that, as we’ve said, you know keyword is king, and you really have to sort of like lay that foundation first and then, you know, work in your copy from there. You know, again, it seems to make a lot of sense to look at your listing from your sort of branding ideas and everything like that. But you’ve got to get the keywords right, and then you know, then you can provide the insight and wrap everything around that.

CASEY GAUSS:
I think this fits well, actually, with your second tip, which was keyword stuffing the title. In a lot of cases I think people have a rough time picturing where – and correct me if I’m wrong, Yale, but people have a tough time picturing where to get started with keywords, and so maybe they’ll write – they’ll try to eloquently put together like a string of words that connect well, maybe have some keywords in, and then they’ll try to like piece together other keywords that they want to put into the sentence that they’ve developed.

YALE SCHALK:
Right.

CASEY GAUSS:
When in this case you’re saying like no, start with the foundation, like with your title. Let’s say with your title. Start with the foundation of as many keywords of like a bunch of high-end keywords, keywords that are going to convert or have a lot of traffic leading to them. Start with that foundation of all those keywords, and then maybe piece them together. Is that what you’re saying?

YALE SCHALK:
Oh, for sure, for sure. I mean you really do, like we said, with the title you really have to get the right keywords up there upfront and you know obviously try to assemble those in, you know, the most beautiful way that you can and sort of balance, you know, walk that line of getting the keywords and getting the product information up there for people, and then from there it’s really just a matter of prioritizing.

CASEY GAUSS:
Yeah, and this is what I was kind of alluding to earlier that I didn’t want to go into because I didn’t want to steal Yale’s thunder, but just because you are indexed for a word does not mean you are driving the same amount of ranking power. So what this means is just because you have, you know, keyword XYZ in your description that yes, you – or a bullet point or whatever – yes, you will be indexing for that, but just because you are indexing because the word is in a bullet point doesn’t mean you’re driving the optimal amount of power, and you’ll drive that optimal amount of power by having it in the title, preferably the highest volume keywords at the beginning.

CAMERON YODER:
Yale, can you touch on just a little bit about how much energy people should be putting into their bullets, into their descriptions or their backend keywords? I think a lot of people tend to freak out about the bullets as much as they do the title. And you already mentioned that the title is going to be your primary keyword ranking driver, but where are the other aspects of a listing when coming into this?

YALE SCHALK:
Oh wow, yeah, so you the – yeah, of course, like we said, the title is obviously the most important part, and you know, where the keywords are really prioritized there. But from there I think the most important point for crafting your listing is to keep in mind that buyers by and large are on Amazon to basically scan information. They’re not there to, you know, read novel length listings, and a lot of the times yes, you know, obviously your product information is obviously helpful when they’re, you know, comparing products and trying to make a decision. But a lot of the time they’re just scanning that information, and they need it very succinctly. They need it very concisely, and that’s really going to a lot of times be the difference between, you know, someone adding your product to cart and checking out and, you know, maybe passing over and going with someone else. So yeah, definitely keep that in mind. You know, think of it in terms of a priority list. So the title is the number one priority, then the bullets number two, product description three, and so on. So yeah, definitely assemble your information accordingly.

CAMERON YODER:
Yale, is there anything else that you’d want people listening to know, even if it’s just in general, about listing ops or if you’d want to summarize in any way? What more, what else do people need to know?

YALE SCHALK:
I would say, you know, I think the thing that comes to mind most for me is that each segment of the Amazon selling process is so important. And you know, that’s really why Viral Launch exists. You know, we exist to help you get that right. You know, so I would say use our software. Get in touch with us to do your product photography. Get in touch with us to do your listings. You know, we really have – we’ve really refined and really perfected the entire process. So you know, we really are here to help you be successful.

CAMERON YODER:
That’s great. Casey, do you have anything to add?

CASEY GAUSS:
No, Yale’s just been killing it. You know I think that too many people – you know, I’ve definitely seen plenty of people say, you know, I don’t have time for keyword research. I don’t have time to put into my listing so I just threw something up, and I’m moving on. Essentially people just look at it as just another box to check, and the thing is like Yale mentioned at the very beginning of the listing, or sorry, the podcast, the listing is absolutely critical to achieving success on Amazon, especially as you continue to enter more and more competitive markets. The greater the level of competition, the greater your listing needs to be from a, you know, keyword structure standpoint. So if this is not on point it’s going to be so much more difficult for you to drive rankings, to sustain rankings and to drive sales. And so if you aren’t willing to take the time to invest in this listing, you know, I think your Amazon FBA journey is going to be pretty difficult.

CAMERON YODER:
This is one of those – it’s another one of those no-brainers. It goes with photos. Like why would you not have the best photos possible? Why would you not have the best listing optimization possible? If you don’t optimize this, if you don’t put energy or effort into it, then you’re not going to get the results that you could if you would have put that time or those resources into it.

CASEY GAUSS:
Yeah, it’s just another corner that people like to cut that really ends up biting them, you know, later.

CAMERON YODER:
Don’t cut corners. In this case one of those corners is listing optimization. So do not cut listing optimization.

CASEY GAUSS:
Yeah, I got good feedback from somebody at a conference that I spoke at this weekend, and they loved the – you know, everybody’s looking for that silver bullet. And we say you don’t need a silver bullet. You need an arsenal. And one of those weapons in your armory needs to be an amazing listing.

CAMERON YODER:
Well thank you so much, Yale, for joining us and for providing so much valuable information on listing ops.

YALE SCHALK:
Absolutely.

CAMERON YODER:
Well, that is all for this week. Thank you so much for listening to Follow the Data. For more insights and reliable information about how to succeed on Amazon, subscribe to the podcast and check us out on YouTube. For those of you who are looking for your next great product I have a series of product discovery walk-throughs videos on our YouTube channel that show you really how to leverage the tool. Just search Viral Launch on YouTube, go to our page and look for my face in one of the videos. Don’t forget to leave us a review and let us know what you think of the show. And if you really like the show and you like what we’re doing here at Viral Launch, tell your fellow Amazon sellers about us. We want to be a resource for sellers and the information source in this space. So please tell your friends, spread the word and share the show with other Amazon sellers.

Thank you, again, so much for listening. Feel absolutely free to hit us up on Facebook or tweet at us if you have any questions or feedback. And if you want to be featured on the show or have an Amazon related question or an idea for an episode, feel free to leave us a voicemail. Our number is 317-721-6590. Also feel free to just hit us up on Facebook or tweet at us if you want to be featured on the show, too. We can always take those questions and feature them on the show if you don’t want to call in. Until next time, remember, the data is out there.

7 Tips for Your FBA Business from Casey Gauss (Follow the Data Ep. 15)

Follow the Data Episode 15: 3 Tips for your FBA Business from Casey Gauss

Merry Christmas listeners! We’ve got a present for you: 7 tips for your FBA business courtesy of our CEO, Casey Gauss. As you set your business goals for 2018, these tips will help you focus on what will take your business to the next level. Looking to sell for the first time? Even better. Listen closely for advice about what pitfalls to avoid and what will set you apart from other Amazon Sellers.

Listen on iTunes

Follow the Data Show Notes

  • Check out this brief overview or this longer walkthrough of Product Discovery to learn more about how Product Discovery leverages data to help you find the most profitable Amazon products to source.
  • Not sure how to use Market Intelligence? Here’s a full Market Intelligence walkthrough about how to get the most out of the tool.
  • Reinvesting your Q4 profits is the best way to get the most out of your extra earnings. Think about what seasonal products you might be able to turn around in time for upcoming Q1 holidays.
  • Looking for more reliable information from the Viral Launch? Check out our Dispelling Myths Series. Viral Launch takes on 4 common myths in the Amazon FBA community.
  • Want to be on the show? Have your own story of entrepreneurial success? We’re working on an episode that features our listeners! Leave us a voicemail at (317) 721-6590 with stories or questions about your Amazon business.

 

Podcast Transcript

CAMERON YODER:
Merry Christmas, everyone, and happy New Year. It’s the holiday season and the end of Q4 2017. As we head into 2018 we want to help you focus on what’s going to make your business as profitable and successful as possible.

CASEY GAUSS:
Today I’m giving out seven tips to grow your FBA business to help you get in the success mindset heading into the New Year. I am Casey Gauss.

CAMERON YODER:
And I’m Cameron Yoder, your hosts for Follow the Data: Your Journey to Amazon FBA Success. In this show we leverage the data we’ve accumulated at Viral Launch from over 28,000 product launches and our experience working with 6500 brands to help you understand the big picture when it comes to Amazon and, more importantly, the best practices for success as an Amazon seller. Let’s dive in.

CASEY GAUSS:
Cool, guys. So we’ll start kind of in the source, launch, dominate order. Tip number one coming to you through the kind of source perspective, tip number one is pay attention to the sales-to-review ratio when entering a market. Really what this means, you know, we call this the ROI ratio, but really what sales-to-review ratio is, it’s just a very simple calculation, estimated monthly sales divided by total review quantity, and really this is a calculation that does two things for you. One, it is showing you kind of what the reward is versus the amount of work you have to put in. So if I want the reward of selling 1000 units of this widget per month, then the amount of work I have to put in is to get to, you know, X number of reviews. So let’s say 100 reviews, right? So if I only need to get 100 reviews to sell 1000 units, that’s a sales review ratio of 10. And that sounds like a pretty awesome scenario considering or assuming that all the other metrics are good, so price point, margin and so forth. But you know that’s far better than having to get 10,000 reviews to sell 1000 units, right? So the sales-to-review ratio, just a really simple quick calculation to, you know, as this kind of litmus test for should I consider this market or not.

CAMERON YODER:
I’m still amazed at how many people don’t take this into consideration when entering new markets. And it’s a really simple concept. Like it doesn’t have to be that complicated. Really it makes sense if you’re looking at a market and you see a bunch of sales and a ton of reviews, then of course you’re going to have to, in order to compete well, have to get that review count up to match what the market’s at. But if you’re in a market with a low number of reviews and high sales, obviously that’s opportune for you to enter and do well.

CASEY GAUSS:
Yeah. Thanks, Cam. So tip number two, go wide, not deep. So a lot of people are always looking for that home run product that is going to, you know, make them wealthy overnight. We have a guy named Brock Johnson coming onto the podcast. In six months he sold like $6 million worth of one product. That’s a unicorn. It’s very tough to find unicorns if you’ve never seen one. So anyways, you know, it’s so much more practical to be able to go really wide and not very deep. So what that looks like is, you know, if I were jumping into selling on Amazon this is the strategy that I would take because this is what I see kind of a lot of people having success with. Anyways, what this looks like is going after products where maybe the maximum sales potential for that market is $10,000 or $15,000, $20,000, some fairly low amount. I guess it’s all relative because for a lot of people $10,000 a month is insane. But essentially what you’re looking to do is enter markets where competition is not very high and you know, there’s lessons in it for the big players with the big budgets who are going to, you know, maybe use black hat tactics against you or whatever to come into the market and try to hurt you and your business.

I see this all the time with supplements and cell phone cases and beauty products. You know, what happens is people end up – competitors will buy your products. They’ll say that they’re getting the products – you’re selling it new, but it’s coming used, you know, the seal was broken, or they up-vote your bad reviews, or they leave a bunch of bad reviews, or they leave a bunch of unverified five-star reviews to make it look like you are going and soliciting these reviews. There’s so many things that competitors will do, and it’s just such a headache to fight in these markets, especially if the markets are mature. It takes a lot of time, a lot of money to reach maximum sales potential versus going in these, you know, markets that are not very deep where you’re making, you know, $10,000 a month top line.

The nice thing about it is you don’t really have to worry about competitors if you find the right markets. It’s extremely easy to enter. You don’t have to spend that much time, that many resources, like achieving success with these products. It’s so easy to do that. And so I would much rather sell 10 products that do $10,000 a month than one product that’s doing 100 K a month, and the reason being, again, competition, ease of entry. A lot of the time going for these, you know, smaller products, it takes 30 days to reach maximum sales potential, or maybe 60 days to reach maximum sales potential and boom, you’re off to the next product. And you can just continue to iterate from there versus going after these $100,000 a month markets generally assuming that there is some degree of maturity around it. It’s going to take you quite a long time.

So I see plenty of people just going – you know, the biggest account that I know of these people that are going, you know, in these wide markets, or going wide versus deep is $30 million a year just in Amazon US. So these guys have a killer business, and they’re just going after all the, you know, low-hanging fruit opportunities. And I would highly suggest anyone jump into there that can or is looking to start sourcing in a different strategy or whatever. I think this is probably the fastest, simplest, you know, lowest headache opportunity to growing your business quickly.

CAMERON YODER:
I would even say – I would add to that a couple years back I think this looked a little bit different just because the market, the Amazon market as a whole, was pretty different where competition with the deeper markets was a little bit less than it is now. Not to say that going deep was better than going wide, but even now since competition is so fierce, especially in those deep markets, going wide is going to let you really look into those markets that people haven’t discovered yet and/or are definitely not as competitive as the deep ones.

CASEY GAUSS:
Yeah, completely agree. Awesome. So we will move on to the launch phase of your FBA journey. Tip number one, you know, I would still – we’ve been trying to, you know, kind of preach this so sorry if you’ve already heard this, but so many people still have not, and I think it is just a very, very simple hack to potentially dramatically increasing your sales. And what that is is you need to include both plural and singular forms of your words in your listings title. So in Amazon’s style guides or guidelines they say you don’t need to include both singular and plural forms. And they say that Amazon, you know, they already account for this in their algorithm, but it’s absolutely untrue. You know, just one quick anecdote. Someone is running a launch for grill gloves. I believe they had gloves in their title, but they were running a launch for a grill glove, and for a grill glove though, the key word that they’re targeting, they hit page 2 like top of page 2 for the launch and they were, you know, kind of disappointed that they didn’t hit page 1. But if you went and looked for the plural form, grill gloves, they were like in the top 10 on page 1 even though they weren’t targeting that word just because it was in the title. And so basically that just goes – and we see this all the time. So this just goes to show that, you know, Amazon does treat singular and plural forms of words differently. I mean if you want to go prove it or test it out for yourself literally search grill glove. Search grill gloves. There’s going to be different search results or in different orders. If there’s not, go try other words, fish oil, fish oils. Just go try a few singular and plural forms of the same word and you’ll see different order of words, different results, and the title has a lot to do with this. So it’s a very quick fix. But like, you know, seriously, the difference in ranking or the amount of keyword power that you’re driving to one word could be the difference of thousands of dollars, tens of thousands of dollars in revenue every month.

CAMERON YODER:
That’s an easy action step, too.

CASEY GAUSS:
So easy.

CAMERON YODER:
To simply go over, go over listing and see if you have both plural and singular forms of your main keywords.

CASEY GAUSS:
Yep, and then the second part to that tip is just don’t repeat words. So you know, let’s say this grill glove seller, they have grill glove then grill gloves and barbecue grill gloves in their title. You don’t need to repeat all those words. It should be in phrase order. So ideally as much as possible, right, so it would be something like, you know, grill gloves, best glove for grilling, or you know something like that. That was just off the top of my head, so probably wasn’t the best. But anyways, you kind of get the gist there. But anyways yeah, you have to have – even if it doesn’t make 100% sense, you know, let’s say you’re selling one glove. You should still have “gloves” in your title because people are searching gloves. Or let’s take a grill brush for example. People are inevitably searching grill brushes, right? Even though you’re only selling one brush you have to have the plural form because people are searching brushes, and by having that in your title when sales are driven through your listing you’re driving that much more power to the ranking for that plural form.

CAMERON YODER:
And by not you’re missing out on all that opportunity.

CASEY GAUSS:
Right. And competitors are. And then second tip for the launch phase is just being aggressive. We just see so many people kind of, you know, tiptoeing to success or waiting kind of for the success to come to them, and it’s just less and less likely every day as competition continues to increase. You really have to go after that success, and I mean really looking at opportunity costs. If you are taking six months to get a product up and, you know, hitting maximum sales potential you’re missing out on so much opportunity. If you did that and if you were more aggressive, hit maximum sales potential in three months you would have twice as much time to go after that second opportunity. And so now you have, you know, let’s say you repeat that with a second product, and so then within six months you have two products at maximum sales potential versus the one. So by going slow, yes it is probably more cost-effective or more cost-efficient, right? So you don’t spend as much money going and achieving that success, but by spending that money and being aggressive you have the opportunity to make that much more money.

CAMERON YODER:
We’re getting into the New Year now, and we’re going to touch more on New Year tactics later. But really this aggressiveness, this tip to be aggressive is a great one to hold onto moving into 2018, even to now, and understand it’s getting close to the end of 2017 and everyone’s going to be spending time with their family and the holidays and whatnot. But planning ahead for 2018, to actually sit down and plan how you’re going to be aggressive is honestly a great strategy, just to even plan it out and see what it looks like for you specifically. Again, reevaluating your goals and setting new goals to just flat out be aggressive among other things. But Casey, let’s move on to dominate. What have you got?

CASEY GAUSS:
Yeah, so three tips under dominate. First one, just reinvest your Q4 profits. I mean hopefully Q4 has been, you know, an amazing experience for you. Hopefully you broke some records and are just super, you know, proud of yourself and excited for what you’ve been able to accomplish. But you know, at least for my personality and if you, again, really look at the opportunity that still exists in the market, I think you really owe it to yourself and, you know, all the people that you are planning on helping with what you’re achieving here with your Amazon FBA business to just go super hard and reinvest those profits. You know, delay getting that Lamborghini or going on, you know, these month-long vacations. You still have so much opportunity. The last thing you want to do when you look back five years from now, 10 years from now is say dang, you know, that was a gold rush and I went to the Bahamas for a month while everybody else is panning for gold and hitting all these opportunities and, you know, I missed out. So anyways, reinvest your Q4 profits. The amount of success that we are seeing on Amazon is just insane, even to this day, and I just really want to encourage you to continue to take part in it. Delay the, you know, instant gratification, the short-term gratification for the long-term goals. So yeah, just reinvest your Q4 profits. Kind of a little reminder there.

Tip number two is go international. So we are planning on having some guys on the podcast that I met recently, and these guys did – in their first year of Amazon they did $10 million.

CAMERON YODER:
They’re killing it.

CASEY GAUSS:
And some other fun facts for you is one of them, still in school full time, and they are both 20 years old. And the other fun fact for you is that they have never sold anything in Amazon US, only international. There is so much opportunity internationally. You know, these guys, you know, they’ll share their story and everything, but there is just so much opportunity internationally. The competition is a fraction of what it is in Amazon US, and I really think that you need to take your resources, you know, hire someone, bring someone on your team to be general manager of internationalization or marketplace director. I don’t know, somebody to go manage your international business.

But there is so much opportunity, and you really want to get in on the ground floor. I mean a lot of the like really successful folks in Amazon US that I know are all people that jumped in in 2014 or maybe 2015, and they went super hard when Amazon was so much easier. And now that Amazon has, you know, really dramatically increased competition and there’s so many additional sellers here, a lot more money going into driving success, it’s so much more difficult. But if you go look in the international markets, in the majority of these markets it’s Amazon 2014 still. And so you need to get in on the ground floor when, you know, Amazon is still – you need to ride that wave of success. So you know you’re on the ground floor. Revenue or revenue potential is just going to continue to increase internationally, but so will competition. And if you’re in, you know, on the ground floor you already will be ranking. You’ll already have the review quantity, and you can just ride that wave up.

CAMERON YODER:
It’s going to be – granted, it’s going to be a little bit different. I don’t think you should go into international markets expecting the same exact process as the United States, but these guys that we’re going to bring on later are examples that, guys, there are no excuses. At 20 years old they are killing it. They’re making bank, and they haven’t sold a single thing in the United States. So if that’s not proof as to what can be possible in international markets, then I don’t know what is. But that, I think that should be part of your long-term strategy, planning, right, to sit down and if international is something you’re interested in, find out more about it, do your research, and then dive in. All right, Casey, what’s tip number three?

CASEY GAUSS:
Tip number three, so basically just never go out of inventory. We see so many people make this mistake, and you know, sometimes it’s inevitable. Sometimes your projections are way off, which is a good thing hopefully. But anyways, there can just be a lot of, you know, downside to going out of inventory. So essentially, you know, just make sure that you are planning accordingly. You know, look at something like market intelligence where you’re able to see kind of the market trends and understand to what degree sales are increasing, decreasing and, you know, how long the increase or decrease will sustain just so you have a really accurate, you know, indication of what to expect or how the market will perform over the, you know, coming X number of months that you need to plan inventory for. And then secondly, like so it may be too late, or it’s probably pretty close to too late if it’s not already.

CAMERON YODER:
Honestly, actually yeah, by the time this podcast is out it’s probably going to be too late depending on the production time for your product.

CASEY GAUSS:
Yeah, I mean so the Chinese New Year is coming up, and I think it’s like early February to early March. Factories are closed down for a month, and before and after that, you know, it’s like, it’s just crazy production because they’re trying to fit everything in before and after for all the people that missed out. And so hopefully you’ve already ordered your inventory in preparation for Chinese New Year, especially if you’re wanting to launch new products. If not, like that can delay your time to getting that product up and running, you know, so far. But yeah.

CAMERON YODER:
This – it’s Friday, December 22nd, and I do know that a lot of manufacturers are taking orders this week in order to get products to you before the Chinese New Year. But with this area specifically, talking about inventory, guys, I honestly think it’s much better to play safe than sorry with this. And so it’s better to overcompensate for inventory here. And sure, you’re going to spend maybe a little bit more money, and you need to figure out how much money you have to play around with ordering inventory and different strategies with that. But it’s better to order a little bit more inventory than it is to run out of inventory and have to wait maybe a week to two weeks before you get your next shipment in. So plan ahead. Plan accordingly. Play it a little safe on this one.

CASEY GAUSS:
I think that’s pretty much all for me.

CAMERON YODER:
Yeah, well okay. That’s all for this week. Thank you guys so much for joining us here on Follow the Data. For more FBA tips and reliable information that will help take your Amazon business to the next level, subscribe to the podcast and check out the Viral Launch blog at viral-launch.com.

CASEY GAUSS:
Guys, we’re all Amazon sellers. We know the most difficult part of your Amazon business is getting reviews.

CAMERON YODER:
So hard.

CASEY GAUSS:
So hard. Please help us get reviews. If we could we would go review your product, but we don’t want to get you shut down. But by you reviewing this podcast we will not get shut down, so we would love your help on this. I mean really at the end of the day if you know anything about me or the company, like we just love honest feedback. So whether it’s in a review or whatever, any feedback just so we know how are we doing, what do you guys want to hear, you know, maybe our approach isn’t the best. Maybe you want us to use voice changers because you don’t like our voice, I don’t know. Anyways, we just love feedback. So yeah, thank you so much.

CAMERON YODER:
We’re also doing – we’re currently doing weekly webinars where we’re going through, walking through product discovery and different strategies that you can use to take advantage of the tools. So if you haven’t seen those yet keep an eye out for those. We do it every – typically every Thursday. But again, we just wanted to say thank you so much for listening. Happy holidays. We hope everyone has a great New Year. And don’t forget if you want to be featured on the show, or if you have an Amazon-related question or an idea for an episode you can leave us a voicemail. Our number is 317-721-6590. Until next time, remember the data is out there.

4 Things You Need to Know Before Selling on Amazon Germany

So you want to grow your business internationally, and you think selling on Amazon Germany could be the way to go? You might be right.

Amazon.de is the second largest Amazon marketplace behind the U.S. with about 15 percent of the Amazon international market and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. The overall German online market is growing by about 12 percent annually, and cross-border e-commerce sales are growing as well, meaning Germans are warming up to the idea of purchasing from the U.S.

You’re probably thinking Germans are ripe for the picking for a savvy seller like yourself, but before you take the plunge into Deutchland, consider these helpful tips about Amazon Germany buyers and how they differ from their American counterparts.

 

1. Germans are highly focused on security and avoiding risk

German buyers want to avoid wasting time and money on low quality products, so they will likely do much more research before buying compared to Americans. Not only will they research the product they are interested in, but they will generally research brands, their quality and their reliability. And, if you don’t have a local address associated with your account, German consumers may assume you will be difficult to contact or returns will be burdensome, which could deter them from purchasing.

 

2. German buyers want to know your credentials

An Amazon Germany customer is searching for more than your statement of reliability and quality. They want factual evidence from 3rd parties, such as reviews from fellow Germans, or certification compliance with German or EU-based institutions. So while your FDA approved product might win over buyers in the U.S., it will mean virtually nothing to most German buyers. That’s not to say you won’t sell anything without a local certification, but depending on your product, your chances of increasing sales with a local certification is high.

 

3. Germans aren’t interested in your showy marketing lingo

In the U.S., many buyers like to be wowed and dazzled with pretty marketing language when looking at a product. They want to be told yours is the “best”, “greatest”, “most effective” or “the only one of its kind”. Germans are more detailed and fact-driven. They want to know why your product is better than someone else’s with honest, modest facts. So if you think you can simply translate your U.S. listing copy with Google Translate, think again. Not only will the translation likely be poor due to language and phrasing differences, but it may not resonate with German buyers.

 

4. If a German buyer doesn’t like your product, they will return it

U.S. buyers may return an item if they are unhappy, but if the item was low cost or they think the process could be lengthy, many will just keep the item or throw it away. In Germany, if a buyer is unsatisfied with your product, they’re much more likely to return it and get their money back. And, unsatisfied German customers are much more likely to contact sellers about their unhappiness and/or leave a negative review. In many cases, there’s a greater chance that Germans will leave a poor reviews if they are unhappy than positive reviews if they are satisfied.

 

Speaking of reviews…..

If you’re thinking about using the same email marketing tactics as in the U.S. to help generate reviews and client rapport, think again. Germany’s email marketing laws are some of the strictest across the globe, and ignoring their regulations won’t just land you with a slap on the wrist, but a fine from the German government.

The bottom line with Amazon Germany and interacting with German consumers is this: do your research and don’t just assume that buyers have the same expectations cross-culturally. Every Amazon marketplace is unique, but if you’re looking for a thriving online market to grow your business beyond the U.S., Amazon.de is a great starting point as long as you take the time to do it well and consider cultural differences.
If you’re concerned about your product selling well on Amazon Germany and are searching for a better grasp of market trends overseas, check out Market Intelligence International to evaluate the market, validate sourcing ideas and provide sales estimates. When you’re ready to take the leap, check out our international launches to get your product visible and sales up and running!

 

Research in Amazon Germany

Launch in Germany

 

Related:

5 Reasons to Start Selling on Amazon Europe

A Step-by-Step Guide to Selling on Amazon Europe

VAT 101: Selling on Amazon Across the European Union

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