Follow The Data Podcast: Finding Success in E-Commerce with Ashley Armstrong

How does one pave their way into the world of e-commerce? We spoke with Ashley Armstrong to find out.

Since the beginning of 2020, the popularity of e-commerce has skyrocketed. Finding Success in E-Commerce can be as easy as one, two, three.

After years of steady growth, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated online businesses to new heights. With increasing interest from media to shine a spotlight on the industry, even more people have recognized the limitless potential that comes with selling on Amazon.

But not everyone is jumping right in, even after conducting the research. Why?

Undoubtedly, fear of failure is a leading reason and one that’s entirely fair. But how do we overcome that fear, and what steps should be taken to mitigate risks?

We dialed up Ashley Armstrong, an e-commerce rockstar with 10+ years of experience in online businesses, to discuss these issues.

Loyal listeners of the Follow The Data podcast may recognize Ashley, as this isn’t her first time on the show. Last time, we honed on the topic of how to grow businesses through virtual assistants. This time, we focus the conversation on more big-picture ideas.

Tune in for an in-depth discussion on overcoming fear, the importance of building a support system, and how she’s taking on a leadership role to bring together women in e-commerce.

HIGHLIGHTS

Get to know Ashley Armstrong and what she’s been up to since we last spoke. (0:00)

With more than a decade in e-commerce in a variety of roles, Ashley’s one of the best resources in the Amazon selling space. We check in on what she’s been up to over the pandemic, with so many changes in e-commerce in such a short span. Finding Success in E-Commerce can be done.

As more people recognize the tremendous opportunity that comes with selling online, what’s the number one reason people don’t make the leap into e-commerce? (6:39)

With so many green lights for the industry, why aren’t more people taking the leap into e-commerce? Fear. Fear of failure or the doubts that come with learning something new can create the devil on your shoulder, telling you all the reasons not to do something big.

Amazon sellers come from all types of backgrounds, with each one providing valuable lessons to guide them to success. How did Ashley’s background in athletics work to her advantage? (8:49)

One of the beauties of e-commerce is that it’s open to people that from diverse backgrounds. And people are able to use their life experiences as resources that fuel them to success. With a background in sports, Ashley explains the crossover of the athlete’s mindset and how it applies to e-commerce.

We’ve talked about how fear can be your worst enemy when it comes to starting an online business. From the perspective of a potential entrepreneur, how do we overcome that fear? (20:09)

Unfortunately, you can’t separate the determination for success from the fear of failure regarding e-commerce. Cam and Ashley break down how to cope with fear and certain opportunities to consider before taking that step forward.

How can you turn your losses into lessons that fuel long-term e-commerce success? (32:57)

While we can work with fear and take strategic steps to mitigate risk, failure is not something that can be eliminated entirely. In fact, some of the more prominent names in e-commerce have experienced failure at some point. Ashley tells us about a time she took a loss and used it to her advantage.

Why has Ashley pivoted to running a seller community for women? (39:04)

Throughout our discussion, we’ve mentioned how important it can be to have a support system. Whether it’s about product research, strategy, or personal support to take care of our mental and emotional health, it’s crucial to be around people who have your back.

Online, it can be very much a lone wolf mentality. Additionally, finding female representation in the Amazon selling space can cause someone to feel like even more of an outcast. As the Amazon seller community grows larger, Ashley’s looking to fill the gap for representation from women in e-commerce. Finding Success in E-Commerce is great.

With her extensive background and great knowledge, we look forward to seeing that community grow.

While we typically talk more nuts and bolts of Amazon, such as product research or PPC, understanding the barriers that prevent aspiring entrepreneurs from achieving their dreams and how to overcome fear and doubt is an essential conversation worth having.

As always, a huge thanks to Ashley for taking the time to share her vast knowledge with us. You can stay in touch with her on her website or by joining her network for women in e-commerce.

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Amazon Prime Day 2021: Small and Medium-Sized Businesses See Huge Wins

Amazon Prime Day 2021 met and surpassed mammoth expectations, with small and medium-sized businesses reaping much of the benefits.

Customers taking advantage of steep discounts unquestionably weren’t the biggest winners of Amazon Prime Day. Third-party sellers on the Amazon marketplace, comprised almost entirely of small and medium-sized business. They took home record-setting sales numbers during the mega sales event.

Lasting 48 hours, this Prime Day proved to be the biggest two-day period ever for Amazon’s third-party sellers.

According to Amazon, shoppers spent more than $1.9 billion on more than 70 million products from third-party sellers during the promotional period. Compared to Prime Day 2020, held in October, these small and medium-sized businesses experienced more than a 100% sales increase.

Furthermore, the report stated the deals were available to more than 200 million paid Amazon prime members. The massive figure was first announced in late April, within a letter from Jeff Bezos to shareholders.

In January 2020, Amazon revealed it had reached 150 million Prime members. Picking up over 50 million subscribers in less than two years is a remarkable sum. Even for a company as large as Amazon. While the pandemic created issues for many industries, the surging amount of Prime subscribers showcases the strength of e-commerce that has yet to show signs of slowing down.

Indeed, these numbers are incredibly encouraging for the current and future state of the industry. Likewise, the continued rise of Prime subscribers and massive sales numbers underline the tremendous opportunity afforded to third-party Amazon sellers.

More Notes from Prime Day 2021

Amazon released a few interesting tidbits related to categories and specific products that crushed it during the sales holiday.

  • Amazon reports the best-selling categories worldwide included tools, beauty, nutrition, baby care, electronics, apparel, and household products.
  • Top-selling products worldwide for Prime Day 2021 included iRobot Roomba 692 Robot Vacuum, Keurig K-Slim Coffee Maker, Apple Cider Vinegar Gummy Vitamins by Goli Nutrition, and Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips.
  • Prime members worldwide saved while gearing up for back to school purchasing more than 600,000 backpacks, 1 million laptops, 1 million headphones, 240,000 notebooks, 40,000 calculators, and 220,000 Crayola products.
  • In the United States, top-selling deals included the Waterpik Electric Water Flosser, Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein Powder, 23andMe Health DNA Test, iRobot Roomba 692 Robot Vacuum, Instant Pot Duo Plus 6 Quart 9-in-1 Pressure Cooker.

Overall, Prime Day 2021 was undoubtedly a major success even when compared to its lofty standards.

With the accelerated prominence of Amazon and e-commerce, it’s never been a better time to be one of the hundreds of thousands of third-party sellers who have realized their entrepreneurial dreams on Amazon.

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