Be Thankful: How Positive Thinking Can Help You Grow Your Amazon Business (Follow the Data Ep. 9)

Follow the Data Episode 9: Be Thankful – How Positive Thinking Can Help You Grow Your Amazon Business

Taking a break to be thankful can feel like a waste of time. But studies show that positive thinking is a key component to individual success. Join Viral Launch CEO and co-host Cameron Yoder for a discussion on how positive thinking can help you cultivate a success mindset to grow your Amazon business.

Follow the Data Show Notes

  • Reason #1 to be thankful: Prime Day 2017 was huge with more than 60% growth over the previous year. Can you image what 2018 is going to be like? Check out our summary of Prime Day Stats to get a better idea of just how huge this day was.
  • Reason #2 to be thankful: Prime membership is becoming more and more popular with estimates that over 60% of American households have a subscription
  • Reason #3 to be thankful: Amazon is still growing. With stocks soaring, there’s a chance that Amazon will become a trillion dollar company sooner than originally predicted.
  • Listen to Barbara Fredrickson explain her broaden and build theory and the research behind the powerful impact of positive emotions.
  • Check out this article from Entrepreneur about how a positive attitude can influence your success.
  • Want to be on the show? 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

CASEY GAUSS:
Did you know that positive thinking can broaden your mindset and increase your ability to generate ideas?

CAMERON YODER:
Taking a break to be thankful can feel like a waste of time. But practicing positive thinking might be the most powerful tool at your disposal as an Amazon seller. I’m Cameron Yoder.

CASEY GAUSS:
And I’m Casey Gauss, 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 25,000 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.

CAMERON YODER:
This Thanksgiving we’re bringing you a special edition episode about the role that positive thinking and thankfulness can play in your Amazon business. Whether you’re just beginning your Amazon journey or already have a serious operation on your hands, there’s a lot to be thankful for this holiday season.

CASEY GAUSS:
We’re talking about what it means to be thankful, the science behind positive thinking and how staying positive and being thankful for what you have can help your Amazon business.

CAMERON YODER:
Casey, I’m actually really excited about this episode just because it’s so unique. It’s so different. We’re talking about how positivity relates to success as an Amazon seller, and not just as an Amazon seller, but success as a person in general, right?

CASEY GAUSS:
Yeah, and for those of you who don’t know Cam, he’s probably one of the most positive people.

CAMERON YODER:
Life is good, man. Life is good. So we’re talking about what it means to be thankful, and a definition – and this isn’t like the, the definition of what it means to be thankful because I think there are many definitions. But what does it mean to be thankful? Thankful, being thankful is the ability to recognize the full worth of something and be grateful for it. So, Casey, what are you thankful for?

CASEY GAUSS:
Dude, I’d like to think of myself as a person with a lot of gratitude, so you know, I just have an insane amount to be thankful for. Everything from my family, you know, having an amazing wife, having, you know, kind of the company of your dreams at the age of 24. Like I don’t think that ever in life I cannot be thankful for everything that has happened to date. And so, you know, I just think that we have an amazing team. Everybody is just working on all cylinders so well. Yeah, you know, I am thankful for Amazon. I am thankful for the current state of the economy to allow us to be where we’re at. I mean, I could just go on and on. But yeah, I guess that pretty much summarizes it. What about you, Cam? What are you thankful for?

CAMERON YODER:
Yeah. No, I mean like you said before, I’m generally just a more positive person. I didn’t used to be that way, but I don’t know, I guess I quickly came to realize that life is too short to really get hung up on the differences or hung up on just stuff in general, and so I’m super thankful just for – I’m 22, and the opportunity just to be here and doing this literally right now is, it’s just awesome. And just meeting people, I’ve been able to go to a lot of conferences over the past couple months to meet a lot of Amazon sellers and just people in general. That’s been an amazing experience. I’m just thankful for, I don’t know, this opportunity and every single opportunity that comes every single day.

CASEY GAUSS:
Yeah. So, what do Amazon sellers have to be thankful for this year? You know, I think there are so many things, obviously.

CAMERON YODER:
It’s a lot. It’s a lot.

CASEY GAUSS:
Yeah, kind of like the top list that we want to talk about, Prime Day 2017 was absolutely insane, the biggest sales day in Amazon history in one day.

CAMERON YODER:
That’s huge.

CASEY GAUSS:
Brand Registry, 2.0, helping sellers to protect, you know, their listings, as well as just getting a leg up on those that are not in brand registry with enhanced brand content, early reviewer program, headline search ads, you know, and I think it’s just going to continue to compound. But thank you, Amazon, for giving us these new features, and we’d love to see more.

CAMERON YODER:
Another stat, there were – or 62% of American households have a Prime subscription. And this is from 2017. That’s – that’s a lot of households. That’s more than half.

CASEY GAUSS:
Oh yeah, and you know, it’s just so awesome because that means that’s that many more people that are going to come and buy your Amazon products. And that’s that much larger of a market that you can sell to.

CAMERON YODER:
Right, that Prime badge, that FBA man, that’s huge. It’s huge. Amazon is also, it’s growing at an astounding rate. So a couple weeks ago Amazon’s stock surged about 13% because their growth is outpacing predictions.

CASEY GAUSS:
Yeah, it’s just crazy. And you know, for the longest time everyone was saying, you know, maybe 2020, 2021, Amazon will be, will represent 50% of e-commerce sales. But it’s looking like that – they could cross that milestone, you know, next year, which again, just means more opportunity to sell more products and just grow your wealth, grow your business, leverage that growth to then go build a business off Amazon. I mean there’s so many opportunities here, and I think that we all kind of just need to be thankful for the work that Amazon is putting in because that helps make our businesses so much more valuable.

CAMERON YODER:
Right, right. Then there’s also, oh man, huge, huge piece of news that everyone was talking about, speculating, still speculating about, but Amazon’s expansion into the acquisition of Whole Foods and the potential or possibility of one day – of people getting their products into a brick-and-mortar store as a result of this is insane.

CASEY GAUSS:
Yeah, and so even if we are not able to get, you know, third-party products into Whole Foods, I mean it just means more Amazon customers, I’m assuming more Prime subscriptions that are using Amazon in –

CAMERON YODER:
More growth, more growth.

CASEY GAUSS:
– yeah, in additional ways. And so it’s just incredible. There’s so many positive things going on in Amazon and, you know, we’re all benefiting from it.

CAMERON YODER:
It’s really easy to get bogged down by the specifics of everything you do as an Amazon seller. And really all this news for Amazon really, I don’t know, it just helps keep a vibe of positivity going up, and it shows that this past year in 2017 Amazon has come a long way even though they were huge before that. But it also just shows that they’re on a pretty good path moving forward into 2018.

CASEY GAUSS:
Yeah.

CAMERON YODER:
So okay, now we talked about what Amazon sellers have to look at as just positivity for Amazon in 2017, but we’re going to break down now kind of the science behind the effect of positive thinking and really just kind of thankfulness in general. So I was going to break it down a little bit to give you some insight into what positivity means for you as an Amazon seller. Barbara Fredrickson has a theory called the broaden and build theory. Now the theory is this. The theory is that negative emotions can cause you to narrow your mindset and your scope of attention in a fight, flight or freeze response to feelings of anger or anxiety. So just to kind of go over that again, basically negative emotions cause your mindset to narrow. And kind of the antithesis of this is that a positive mindset really opens up your mind to newer possibilities.

CASEY GAUSS:
Yeah, so if you remember back to us talking about kind of, you know, this ever elusive silver bullet or sellers getting focused in on, you know, what are these hacks, and I think that maybe this pertains to this specifically, right, so like –

CAMERON YODER:
Yeah.

CASEY GAUSS:
– you know, when I’m in fight or flight I’m just looking for that one little piece of saving grace that is going to take my business, you know, to the moon and back. And you know, what we’d like to think is, or according to the data, and we’ll get into it a bit more, you know, if you’re focused on positivity you’ll be able to take that step back, think of the bigger picture and really kind of disseminate what does it take to build a successful business. And that is not these little hacks. Again, it’s doing everything really well. So kind of just a cool way to tie in some of this awesome data around, you know, positive thinking and success and relate that back to Amazon.

CAMERON YODER:
Exactly. Like the negative mindset is going to create more opportunity for sellers to kind of try and reach and grab at things that aren’t necessarily going to help just because seemingly it’s the best thing that’s in front of them, again, that fight or flight method. So basically negativity really causes people to react, or can cause people to react in a manner that they don’t really think about what they’re doing before they do it. But going back to positivity, so positivity or thankfulness can cause you, the theory states, to broaden your perspective and increase your attention so that you see a wider range of perceived possibilities. So this more open mindset really enables positive thinkers to discover creative solutions, build new skills and ultimately be more successful than negative thinkers just because they’re broadening their mindset. So instead of being so – so I would describe the silver bullet mentality as more of, at least, a narrow-minded approach to business.

CASEY GAUSS:
For sure. And you know, a lot of people say that, you know, what’s the most valuable asset to your business? And a lot of the time it’s you, and people forget that, you know? And so yeah, I just think that this is very applicable.

CAMERON YODER:
Being narrow-minded is relatable to the silver bullet mentality, while positivity is related to learning more or widening your gaze and just learning and building new skills. To add onto this further, there was a study done that was conducted basically to support this theory. In this study each student watched a film that evoked a series of emotions. So there were five films that were showed. Each student watched a single film. The emotions that each film was supposed to – were supposed to convey were amusement, contentment as positive traits, neutrality as kind of the middle line, and then anger or anxiety as the negative traits. So each student watched these films. And then after the film the students were asked to fill out a questionnaire that asked them to list all of the things they wanted to do in that moment. So they watched these emotional, these films that evoked emotion, right, and then they were asked to write down what they wanted to do in that moment.

Now there were 20 blank lines for these participants to fill in. So interestingly enough, the students who watched the films that elicited amusement and contentment, so the more positive traits, came up with more action items on their questionnaire. So more things that they wanted to do in that moment, more. And the other characteristics, the ones that watched the more negative films that evoked a negative emotion did not come up with as many items as the people that had watch the positive films.

And then – after the films – they were shown a visual picture, a visual representation of shapes, okay, so just picture a bunch– you’re handed a piece of paper and on it are a bunch of shapes. And you get to look at it for a little bit, for a small period of time. That paper was taken away, and they were given basically another paper, and they were asked to identify the shapes that were similar to the ones they had seen before. So in this specific study the people, the students that had watched the negative emotional films remembered the smallest visual components of the shapes that made up the image that they had seen at first, and the positive thinkers remembered the overarching theme, or the overall form of the configurations but not necessarily the smaller shapes. The conclusion was at the end that thinking positively tends to help you keep a global or big-picture perspective.

CASEY GAUSS:
So next thing I kind of want to relate it to you, your Amazon business and how positive thinking can help you to be more successful. So I think the biggest one is just that, you know, Amazon is so dynamic, and things are changing so frequently, and the people that have success are the people that are really willing to be, you know, adaptable and to kind of fit whatever needs to happen. You know they’re not focused on the past. And so, you know, employing positive thinking allows you to be very nimble and say okay, here’s this new challenge. Now let’s take what we’ve done in the past, our knowledge and our expertise in the team that we have, if you have a team, and let’s apply that to this new landscape moving forward versus, you know, negative thinking would be so focused on, you know, this sucks, it’s not going to be as easy to have success. You know, I wish things were the old way versus, again, the positive thinking is you’re rolling with the punches. And that’s exactly what you have to be doing in order to, you know, be successful on Amazon because that is inevitable. Things are going to change. So yeah.

CAMERON YODER:
You’re also – so you’re also developing – as an Amazon seller you’re developing a lot of new skills as time goes on. And I want to read this quote from the study before, just because it’s, I don’t know, I think it speaks to Amazon sellers in general. And the quote is, “Researchers have often noticed a compounding effect or an upward spiral that occurs with happy people. They’re happy, so they develop new skills. Those skills lead to new success, which results in more happiness, and the process repeats itself.” So it’s compounding happiness on skill basically, like you are, by having an air or a mindset of positivity you are increasing her ability to develop these new skills by being an Amazon seller, which being an Amazon seller you’ve already developed so many skills, like team leadership even is just one skill that has resulted for a lot of people from Amazon, or different selling methods, or business in general. And there are so many more skills to develop by selling on Amazon. Maintaining that positive mindset is going to help you develop those skills further.

CASEY GAUSS:
Yeah, and you know obviously as a fellow business owner there’s a million things that are going wrong. There’s always going to be fires, not just related to Amazon making changes, someone that you hire doesn’t work out, or you know, oh, your manufacturer is giving you issues, or you know, there’s a million things that can go wrong. And dwelling on those things or, you know, turning very negative or even turning that negativity against yourself, I know that’s very easy to do, you know, that’s just not going to help you to have success. And so always be positive about the future. At least what helps me is I’m always so excited about what is going to come or, you know, the bigger picture of Viral Launch and what we’re trying to achieve. And that really helps you to, you know, go through the kind of valleys or those tough times.

CAMERON YODER:
I definitely want to encourage you to focus on big pictures. So a big picture mentality, for example, would be hey, it’s going to be okay. We have tomorrow to wake up to. If something goes wrong, that’s okay. You have tomorrow. You have next week. You have next month. This Amazon game is a marathon. And it’s not a sprint. So you have all of this time in front of you to allow you to not have to get stressed out and sucked into unproductive pursuits that are just going to cause more stress. So stay committed to the big picture, whether that’s hitting the million-dollar mark or making your first sale. Basically, basically there are a lot of different things that you can focus on, but one thing that you have control of is your mindset. And if you choose to focus on your shortcomings and entertain ideas of failure, then that might be what you live up to. But if you entertain ideas of positivity, you reap what you sow.

CASEY GAUSS:
That’s all we have for this week. Thank you so much for joining us. We’ll be off next week over the holidays, and we encourage you to take a break yourself. Spend some time with the people you love, be thankful for what you have and what you’ve been able to accomplish so far. Also it’s just nice to, you know, take a step back, breathe, read a little bit, challenge yourself and just think of the bigger picture because that is ultimately the roadmap that you need to set to help you achieve success.

CAMERON YODER:
Yo, eat some delicious food. If you’re listening to us and you’re international I say go buy a turkey, you know, get in on this Thanksgiving thing. Go buy turkey, you know, make some good mashed potatoes. It’s going to be a good time. You never know. That moment of contentment could really make the difference in success or failure of your business.

CASEY GAUSS:
Thanks again for tuning in. Don’t forget to leave a review. Please, we all know how difficult it is to get reviews on Amazon.

CAMERON YODER:
It’s so hard.

CASEY GAUSS:
The same is true for podcasts. Guys, we need you. I’m just messing, but it would be awesome. We also kind of, you know, just love to hear what people have to say. So if you want to be featured on the show leave us a voicemail at 317-721-6590. We’d love to hear from you.

CAMERON YODER:
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Until next time, remember, the data is out there.

Dispelling Myths: Diversification (Follow the Data Ep. 5)

 

Follow the Data Episode 5: Diversification

Selling your product on Amazon alone is a bad business model. Or is it? Join Viral Launch CEO Casey Gauss and Amazon Seller Coach Cameron Yoder as they discuss whether diversifying your business efforts across multiple ecommerce platforms is really worth it.

Follow the Data Show Notes

  • Amazon is the go-to online retailer today, and Prime shipping is a huge incentive for shoppers. According to RetailWire, “The average Prime program participant spends $1,300 per year,” and Prime membership is only increasing, which means the potential for third-party sellers continues to grow.
  • Check out this recap of 2016 Amazon third-party sales. With 2017 shaping up to be an even bigger year, there’s no denying that Amazon offers third-party sellers a sales opportunity like no other online retailer.
  • Another great recap from last year is this infographic by Visual Capitalist, depicting online market share.
  • Take a look at these Viral Launch Case Studies for a few examples of sellers who decided to double down on their Amazon businesses and saw huge results
  • Don’t forget to check out our redesign of Market Intelligence. With a brand new look, a built-in FBA calculator, and the most accurate sales estimates in the galaxy, Market Intelligence has everything you need to streamline your sourcing process. Check it out at viral-launch.com/newMI
  • Want to be on the show? Leave us a voicemail at (317) 721-6590

 

Podcast Transcript

Casey Gauss:                      

Approximately 55% of online shoppers start their product search on Amazon.  As an online retailer you know Amazon is the place to be.

 

Cameron Yoder:              

But is selling strictly on Amazon the most profitable approach?  I’m Cameron Yoder.

 

Casey Gauss:                      

And I’m Casey Gauss, 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 20,000 product launches and our experience working with 5,500 brands to help you understand the big picture when it comes to selling on Amazon, and most importantly, the best practices for success as an Amazon seller.

 

Cameron Yoder:              

The first four inaugural episodes of Follow the Data are all part of our Dispelling Myths series in which we explore topics that have garnered a lot of conversation among the Amazon seller community but until recently have not been proven or disproven using factual evidence.

 

Casey Gauss:                      

We’ll talk about why these Amazon theories make sense and what the data is saying about what’s actually happening.

 

Cameron Yoder:

Today we’re talking about diversification.  Now there’s this conversation happening among sellers, whether to focus solely on Amazon or whether to diversify and sell on other platforms.  We’ve heard a lot of people talk about this at conferences.  For example, some sellers are listing their products on eBay or Walmart, Shopify, BigCommerce, Squarespace or other big names  that others are talking about. But this is the conversation today.  The conversation is whether it’s worth it or not. Casey, you’re passionate about this.  Take it away.

 

Casey Gauss:                      

Yeah, so I mean it’s pretty much like public knowledge at this point that – or general consensus:  Okay, I need to diversify away from Amazon as soon as possible because Amazon is going to ruin my business.  And I totally get it, right.  So everybody assumes it is like okay, I have a business on Amazon.  I have to diversify right away.  And there’s just a lot of issues with that.  So basically – but I get it, right.

 

Cameron Yoder:              

But why do people think that right away?

 

Casey Gauss:                      

Yeah, yeah

 

Cameron Yoder:              

Why is that?

 

Casey Gauss:                      

I mean it totally makes sense.  At the end of the day if you are amazing at Google PPC and/or Facebook ads and this is just a talent that you have, then it completely makes sense.

 

Cameron Yoder:              

Sure.

 

Casey Gauss:                      

And I totally get it, right.  So the area of seller that we see this happen the most are the guys that are doing, you know, they hit that million dollar a year mark, or maybe the 1 to like 3, maybe 1 to $5 million a year mark, and then they really, really want to protect what they have.

 

Cameron Yoder:              

You’re saying diversify – like those are a lot of people that you see consider diversifying?

 

Casey Gauss:                      

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  So once they get to this mark they’re like wow, I really want to protect what I have, and so what is the biggest threat?  Well, the biggest threat is that I’m on the Amazon platform.  I don’t control the customer, which is a totally valid consideration, right?  Those are definitely – I totally see where you’re coming from.  But there’s a few issues with that.  

 

So what I typically see happen is that those sellers that try to begin diversifying – one, they’re paying all this money for these courses teaching you how to diversify, which generally don’t work.  But the thing is that people forget what got them to that 1 to $5 million a year mark, and what got them to that 1 to $5 million a year mark is launching more products on Amazon and/or really just figuring out that launch process on Amazon.  If you’re doing, you know, $2 million a year, you know how to launch products on Amazon.  And so how do you go to $4 million?  How do you go to $10 million?  Well, you just launch more products through that same exact process you’ve already established.  The answer is not to go and diversify.  Anyways, so –

 

Cameron Yoder:              

Well do you think having – do you think having a presence on these other platforms does contribute to extending your – as other people would say – brand reach?

 

Casey Gauss:                      

Yeah, so I think that you should have at the very least a Shopify store.  I think that you should go and have – you should have somebody on your team go and list your products on these other platforms.  I mean just by happenstance, you know, if you are the only vitamin C serum – which isn’t the case – but if you’re the only vitamin C serum on Walmart, yeah, you’re going to get some traffic.

 

Cameron Yoder:              

Sure.

 

Casey Gauss:                      

Right?  But you – I don’t think that you should be consid — spending a considerable amount of time on these other platforms.  But again, we’ll get into that –

 

Cameron Yoder:              

Sure.

 

Casey Gauss:                      

– in a minute.  So basically at the high level people want to protect what they have.  I totally get it.  There’s a lot of gurus that are pushing for people to diversify.  We’ll get into that in a minute.  But again, you know, if this guru that is, you know, absolutely killing it is telling you that they’re doing this or that you should be doing this, no, you know I totally understand why you think that.  And again, logically it makes sense.  Okay, I’ve had this success on Amazon.  People like my brand or whatever.  Brand is in quotes.  Then like I will be able to go and replicate this in these other platforms.  And the answer is just no.  It just doesn’t happen that way.  So, yeah.

 

Cameron Yoder:              

Let’s take a look at – so one main aspect of what other people are saying in this argument for diversifying is that a seller can control the buyer experience more, right?  So in Amazon – you touched on this at the beginning, but when a seller is on Amazon the control of the buyer experience is not – it’s not that much.  You can’t control it as much as you would in your own website, for example.  So people, again, are saying, right – and correct me if I’m wrong – but people are saying that oh, my argument for diversifying is that I can control my buyer experience.

 

Casey Gauss:                      

Yeah, and I totally get what you’re saying, but my answer to that is, for how many people, right?  Oh yeah, you can go and control the conversation for 100 new customers a day.

 

Cameron Yoder:              

Right.

 

Casey Gauss:                      

But I’m going to go sell 5000 units a month on Amazon, right?

 

Cameron Yoder:              

Right.

 

Casey Gauss:

The problem is yeah, you get to control the buyer experience, but for how many people?

 

Cameron Yoder:              

Yeah.

 

Casey Gauss:                      

You know what I mean?  Like sure you can have control of 100 people a month that are coming and visiting your Shopify store or that you’re paying an insane amount of money to get to your Shopify store or wherever.  But I’m going to be on Amazon selling 5000 units a month while you’re selling 100 units a month on Shopify.  We’ve seen, you know, we’ve seen this happen so many times where basically sellers, they’re doing really well on Amazon.  Again, these are the guys doing that 1 to 5 million, sometimes a little bit more, but then they try to diversify.  They try to get into retail, or they try to push heavily into Shopify, and they spend all of their time or a good portion of their time not growing their Amazon business.  And so what happens is yeah, maybe you grow revenue by 5% or something, but what we see happen a lot of times is in the meantime their Amazon business starts to lose traction.  It starts to lose market share. They get out of tune with what’s working.  And they’re just, you know, out of touch.  And so competitors just start to pass them by.

 

So yeah, they started making a little bit extra money on their Shopify store or whatever, but they’ve really started to lose out on their Amazon business.  They are trying to avoid the very situation they end up creating, which is they are trying to protect their sales for the long-term by diversifying, and calculating opportunity costs they lose out on sales in the long term.

 

Cameron Yoder:              

Right.  Other arguments that people have, which I think there is kind of one main answer and you already touched on it to all of these, a couple reasons that sellers opt into listing on different platforms, there’s a pretty comprehensive list.  One is a lower barrier to entry.  So again, Walmart is an example.  Walmart has a much lower barrier to entry than Amazon.  There’s less competition. There’s no monthly fees or startup fees, lower listing or product fees, and you own your own storefront, right?  But, but like you said, I feel like all of these arguments can be honestly just like crushed with the fact that all of the traffic is on Amazon.

 

Casey Gauss:                      

Yeah, okay.  Lower product fees, okay, yeah.  I’ll pay – versus paying let’s say it costs $5 to ship my widget and sell on Amazon.  But it only costs $1 to sell on Walmart.  No, that’s great, but you’re still only selling 100 units.  And so –

 

Cameron Yoder:              

But dude, you don’t have a $35 monthly fee.

 

Casey Gauss:                      

Those things just don’t make sense.  So really I mean we’ve worked with over 5500 brands.  I have really good relationships with guys that are doing 100 million a month.  Whoa.

 

Cameron Yoder:              

Holy –

 

Casey Gauss:                      

100 million a month would be insane.

 

Cameron Yoder:              

I’d like to meet them.

 

Casey Gauss:                      

Yeah, me too.  100 million a year, 50 million a year, guys that are doing – plenty of guys that are doing around 20 million a year, and everybody in between, right?  And the thing is is I do not know – I’m not aware of any seller that has successfully taken their success on Amazon and then brought or built a considerable revenue stream outside of Amazon from their private label business.  Like it just absolutely doesn’t make sense.  These guys that have a major $35 million brand, it’s the third-largest brand in their category, in the top-level category: I’m talking cell phones and accessories or beauty or health and household.  Like these guys have the third-largest brand by volume, and their sales on their website, they’re spending – they have a huge team, and they’re spending a good amount of money trying to drive those sales on their website.  And they’re just not seeing the volume.

 

So what – you know I have some friends that they do 50 million a year, and they tried pushing on their website, and they realized it just didn’t work.  And they saw a dip in revenue when this happened like two years ago.  And now they’ve just doubled down on Amazon because they know exactly how to launch products when it comes to Amazon.  So they just doubled down on that.  

 

The opportunity is on Amazon, and if you are spending, you know, a week – let’s just say a day.  You’re spending a day out of your week trying to build these other sales channels.  Well that’s a day a week that you’re not building your Amazon business.  And so for every dollar, you know – these are arbitrary numbers, but it’s something like for every dollar you spend building your Amazon business you get $10 back, let’s just say.  But for every dollar you spend building your Shopify business you’re getting like $1.50 back.  Maybe you’re getting $2.00, but probably not.  You know, net net across your Amazon sales in everything you’re seeing maybe $1.05, or you’re seeing $0.95 out of that dollar spent.

 

And so, you know, I do think that you should diversify.  Like I said at the beginning, you know, if you have the team or you have the skill set – if you have the skill set to drive an insane amount of Facebook ads or whatever, yeah, definitely check out that model.  But you still need to run the math and calculate: Do I make so much more money when I’m spending that same amount of time and that same amount of money pushing my Amazon brand?  Well, then do that.  You know, like – and again –

 

Cameron Yoder:              

Keep on going

 

Casey Gauss:                      

So the other argument for diversifying is everybody’s afraid of getting banned from the Amazon platform, and now their revenue stream dries up.  That’s what these guys that are selling $1 million, $5 million a year, that’s what they’re so afraid of.  And the thing is is we’ve worked with 5500 brands, right, and we know of a lot more, of course, right?  I only know – we only know of one brand that has actually gotten banned from the platform, and these guys were asking for it.  Like these guys had gotten suspended so many times.  They just kept doing, you know, whatever it was that was getting them suspended, and they were pushing the envelope in every direction.  And you know, eventually Amazon said no, we don’t trust you guys to reinstate you because you’re just going to keep doing this stuff.  You guys are banned.  You guys are not able to sell on the Amazon platform.

 

And so at the end of the day, again, thousands and thousands of brands – we’ve definitely seen people get suspended, but they get pushed right back up.  And so I don’t know how legit that fear of getting banned is.  I understand why you’re afraid, of course.  I totally get it.  But at the end of the day, how likely is it to happen?  Well, according to our sample size –

 

Cameron Yoder:              

Not very.

 

Casey Gauss:                      

– one in 5500, which is pretty low. I would like to think that it’s more. And again, the thing is is sure, you can go spend a ton of time trying to diversify.  But in reality will you be successful at it?  You know, I really doubt it.  The data just does not show us in the 5500 brands that we have worked with. That it is likely that you can take your Amazon success and turn it into external success.

 

Cameron Yoder:              

I like to relate, I like to relate this subject to – and Casey, you’ve heard this before – I like to relate this, the idea of diversifying, to the gold rush, right, like the classic American gold rush where once people heard that there was a ton of gold in one place they all rushed to it, right?  I feel like Amazon is that source of gold right now. More and more people are starting to hear about it, and not that – I mean there was a limited amount of gold, right, and not that Amazon is going to run out or go out of business or anything, but the game is changing as time goes on.

 

Casey Gauss:                      

And it’s getting more difficult.

 

Cameron Yoder:              

And it is getting – it is.  It is.  The gold has not run out yet at all.  If you see this huge mine of gold that you know is there, it’s Amazon, then why would you go to another gold mine, like Walmart or Etsy, that you can’t see the gold?  Like sure there’s some benefit there, and there will be benefit in the future. I think, just in terms of taking advantage of the moment, that’s the best thing.

 

Casey Gauss:                      

Yeah, you know, I think maybe if you have that 1 to $5 million brand and you have a team, then maybe you can hire somebody that’s great at customer acquisition or digital advertising or whatever.  And they can try to build those sales, and you know, they can be compensated accordingly.  And you can have them focus on that, but what you need to be focused on is on what you know how to do really well, and that is selling on Amazon.

 

Cameron Yoder:              

Right, right.  And opportunity cost, right?

 

Casey Gauss:                      

Yes.

 

Cameron Yoder:              

Like it’s going to cost something.  If you choose to focus on another platform, it’s going to cost time

 

Casey Gauss:                      

Yeah, and again, every minute that you’re spent focused outside of Amazon, a competitor is focused on Amazon, and they’re just going to steal that opportunity or that potential from you down the road.  But I think that people are really underestimating the value of the Amazon business right now.

 

Cameron Yoder:              

Yeah, I agree.

 

Casey Gauss:                      

I think that time will show us that your brand is actually more valuable than you think.  And again, going back to Cam’s comment of reviews being the currency, like this is the way to go.  Yeah.

 

Cameron Yoder:              

It is.

 

Casey Gauss:                      

So basically to sum everything up, Amazon is huge right now.  It’s still growing.  It’s supposed to be growing an insane amount. They’re just snagging such a big portion of the e-commerce sales.

 

Cameron Yoder:              

Remember.  Remember what got you here, right?

 

Casey Gauss:                      

Yeah.

 

Cameron Yoder:              

Remember what got you here and triple down on it.

 

Casey Gauss:                      

Right.  Yeah.  So yeah, basically at the end of the day we don’t know anybody—doesn’t matter if they’re doing 100 million a year, 50 million a year—it doesn’t matter. We don’t know anybody that has successfully gone and diversified.  Does it mean it’s not possible?  No, it’s definitely possible.  But that’s not what’s happening.  That’s not where you should be focusing.  You need to be focusing on building your Amazon business.  Are we biased in saying that?  Yes.  Is it the truth?  Is that what the data is saying? Yes.

 

Cameron Yoder:              

Yes.

 

Casey Gauss:                      

Does it make logical sense?  No, not really, but it’s the truth.

 

Cameron Yoder:              

Well hey, that is all for this week.  Thank you so much for joining us on Follow the Data.  For more reliable information about what’s really happening on Amazon subscribe to the podcast and check out the Viral Launch blog at Viral-Launch.com

 

Casey Gauss:                      

And don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes if you like the podcast.  We really appreciate your feedback.  We love, love honest feedback.  We love to hear what your thoughts are.  And if you enjoyed the podcast and want other people to hear it, please share.  Reviews also help other people to understand how good or terrible of a job we’re doing.

 

Cameron Yoder:              

We’ll link to all of the information and sources that we referenced in this episode in today’s blog post.  Check out the blog and subscribe to our email list to stay up-to-date on all the latest Amazon updates and best practices.

 

Casey Gauss:                      

Want to be featured on the show?  Leave us a voicemail and tell us your thoughts on today’s episode, or ask us any of your Amazon questions.  Our number is 317-721-6590.  Join us next week when we dispel the myth of suspension.  Until then, remember, the data is out there.

Cameron Yoder:

Hey! I wanted to let you know about a webinar that Casey and I hosted last night where we made an exciting announcement. We’ve updated our product research tool, Market Intelligence, with a brand new look, easier navigation, and a built-in FBA calculator. If you missed us last night, you can find our announcement and our walkthrough of the tool on our YouTube channel. The calculator feature is super slick, essentially calculating how much it costs to break into a market showing you upfront costs, month expenses, monthly profit, and total profitability.

 

Market Intelligence offers sellers the most accurate sales estimates in the galaxy and up to 2 years of historic sales data so you can see big market trends like price and overall sales. With the newly integrated FBA calculator, this latest version of Market Intelligence really does have everything that you need to research your next product. Visiti viral-launch.com/newMI to check it out and to start your free trial.

Dispelling Myths: Sales Velocity (Follow the Data Ep. 4)

Follow the Data Episode 4: Sales Velocity

Keep increasing your sales, and Amazon will reward you with a coveted spot on page 1. Sounds like a simple formula, but the facts say there are other factors in play. Join Viral Launch CEO Casey Gauss and Cameron Yoder for episode 2 of “Dispelling Myths” to find out why sales history, not sales velocity, is the key to maintaining high rank on Amazon.

Listen on iTunes . See All Episodes

Listen on Stitcher / Listen on Google Play

 

Follow the Data Show Notes

  • We’ve been busting myths since Day 1, and the misunderstanding of BSR is one we’ve been embattled with for some time. Check it out our Amazon BSR Myths blog post from December 2016.
  • If you’re just starting out as an Amazon Seller and feeling lost trying to figure out how sales velocity, sales history, ranking, and promotions all work, check out our 3 Keys to Success seller guide.
  • Here at Viral Launch, we’re just crazy about sales history. Not only is it important to maintaining rank, it is also a great indicator for how a product will perform in the future. Market Intelligence shows up to two years of sales history for a product market so you can make realistic projections about future sales. Sign up for a free Viral Launch account to get a free trial of Market Intelligence.
  • Want to be on the show? Leave us a voicemail at (317) 721-6590

 

Podcast Transcript

Casey Gauss:

Do not focus on BSR. Forget it. Only pay attention to ranking. And then really focus on building a strong sales history. Don’t go in and just give away a product over 5 days just because you want to improve your velocity and you think it’s that is going to help you maintain rank and the drive organic sales from there. Really, you need to focus on building up your average per day sales history.

Casey Gauss:

No one can find your product when it’s buried at the bottom of page 10 search results.  To climb in the rankings and capture more traffic you need sales.

Cameron Yoder:

But are all sales created equal?  I’m Cameron Yoder.

Casey Gauss:

And I’m Casey Gauss, 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 20,000 product launches and our experience working with over 5500 brands on Amazon to help you understand the big picture when it comes to Amazon, and most importantly, what it takes to have success.

Cameron Yoder:

These first four inaugural episodes of Follow the Data are all part of our Dispelling Myths series in which we explore topics that have garnered a lot of conversation among the Amazon seller community but have not been proven or disproven using factual evidence.

Casey Gauss:

We’ll talk about why these Amazon theories make sense, where they’ve come from and what the data is saying about what is actually happening.

Cameron Yoder:

Casey, can you define – can you define sales velocity for us?

Casey Gauss:

Yeah, yeah.  So sales velocity is the rate at which you are selling.  It’s simple as that.  You know, one thing is, I think it probably just sounds like a cool term so people want to throw it around.

Cameron Yoder:

Velocity.

Casey Gauss:

Which, which, you know, I don’t blame them.

Cameron Yoder:

That’s pretty cool.

Casey Gauss:

Yeah.  Basically sales velocity is this myth that if your sales continue to increase, then Amazon will favor you with good keyword ranking.  You know, as an example, people like to set up promotions where they’re incrementally increasing because it shows that their velocity is increasing, and they think that that is what Amazon likes to see because, you know, to them it looks more organic, and they think that Amazon wants to see things that are more organic.  Also, you know, pretty much on any website or service provider’s website you’ll find the term sales velocity on there, and they are trying to tell you that it’s sales velocity Amazon cares about when it comes to keyword ranking, and it’s just not true.

Cameron Yoder:

If it’s not sales velocity, what is it?

Casey Gauss:

Yeah, it is sales history.  So it sounds –

Cameron Yoder:

Interesting.

Casey Gauss:

Yeah, not as cool of a term, but it’s a lot more accurate in how Amazon looks at your sales and then decides how to rank your products based on, yeah, sales.  One thing that we do kind of want to point out here is, you know, this myth we’ve been trying to kill it forever, and that is just BSR, the myth of BSR.  So essentially what BSR is is BSR is like a report card.  It’s basically an indicator of past sales, much like in a report card where you do some work and then your teacher grades it, and then you get a letter grade post-work, saying how well or how much work you did.  And so the same is true with BSR.  If I sell 100 units it will impact my BSR, but my BSR does not impact my bestseller rank, does not impact my future sales.  So please never try to improve your BSR.  Try to improve your sales, and then yes, of course, your BSR will improve from there, but yeah.

Cameron Yoder:

Hey guys, Cam here. I just want to break and clarify something that is–in a lot of ways–so obvious for us here at Viral Launch that we often forget to say it explicitly, and that is that BSR is not the key to visibility on Amazon. Keyword ranking is. You might have a great BSR but if you aren’t getting sales through a keyword, you aren’t going to gain keyword ranking which is how shoppers will find you in search. Got it? Not BSR, keyword ranking. Okay, now back to the show.

Casey Gauss:

You know, I think the analogy is as simple as this.  So if I’m standing on the Earth’s surface, to me it appears flat, right?  But when I take that 10,000-foot view, or that mile view, or however high you need to be to really start to see the curvature of the earth, you’re really able to get a different perspective.  You’re able to – you get in more data and are able to really start to understand, hey, it’s not actually sales velocity.  It’s actually sales history.  The perspective that we have of the space running hundreds and hundreds of promotions daily, we’re able in tracking keyword ranking for many keywords that are found in the listing or the targeted keywords.  We’re able to really get a great perspective of what is Amazon paying attention to when it comes to sales history or sales in general and driving keyword ranking.

Cameron Yoder:

All right, so we’ve talked a little bit about, again, defining sales velocity and defining sales history, and taking a look at what the myth is saying and what other people are saying.  But let’s jump into the data.  What – Casey, what have we found when it comes to sales history?

Casey Gauss:

Yeah, so both from the data that we’ve been able to aggregate, as well as indirectly from Amazon, we know that Amazon is actually tracking sales in these buckets, right?  So they’re tracking what does the average per day sales look like over the last 24 hours, 48 hours, three days, five days, and then in these seven-day increments, out until, you know I don’t know how long, but I know it’s at least 180 days.  Basically what that shows us is yes, Amazon cares about most recent sales, or they more heavily weight recent sales, which is where people are coming with the sales velocity, right?  So if your velocity is good then your most recent sales history is good.  So maybe the last day, maybe the last five days, who knows?  What the sales velocity kind of algorithm doesn’t take into account is history, which Amazon is definitely heavily weighting.

Cameron Yoder:

Right.

Casey Gauss:

So I can give a couple of examples of some promotions that we’ve run, which then give us insight into the sales history.

Cameron Yoder:

Go for it.

Casey Gauss:

Yeah, so, so many people have run these promotions – and it’s pretty common knowledge, I’d like to think – right now where you can’t just run a one-day promotion.  Back in, you know, 2014 you could do that.  Running a one-day promotion, a big spike in sales would help to improve your keyword ranking, but Amazon is more – more so heavily weighting sales history where if I run a one-day promotion, yes, my velocity is good.  My BSR is going to increase quite significantly.  But when Amazon goes to calculate your seven-day sales history or your 30-day sales history, it just doesn’t match up to those guys that are ranking page 1 and have been for the last six months.  Their sales history is very solid for that particular market.  So what we’ll see is maybe you’ll get a decent blip, but usually with a one-day promotion you won’t even get that nice blip anymore because there is no sales history to back it up.  What we do see if you run a 3 to 5 day promotion is generally you will get ranking because you have your most recent sales history is good.  But then it’s very short-lived because you don’t have enough sales history.  You don’t have, you know, 90-day sales history to help rank among those guys that are selling, or have been selling, again, for six months.  So we see those guys fall right back down.  

And what happens if you run a 7-day promotion and don’t see any sales right off the bat?  We see ranking sustained a bit further simply because yes, the sales velocity may end up being very bad after we’d run a 7-day promotion giving away 50 units per day, and then there is another three days after that where there are no sales at all.  Let’s just say, you know, they have terrible images, they have terrible reviews, they just don’t convert at all.  What we’ll see is that product will maintain rank for at least a little bit depending on the market, sometimes longer, sometimes indefinitely.  It really depends.  But for the majority of the time – and this is where having so much data, so much perspective really helps to reinforce these correlations or these trends, but this person will generally maintain rank for at least a week, or sometimes a lot longer, because they’ve built up that sales history.  So the more sales history they establish, the longer that rank will maintain even though their velocity is really bad because they’re not selling anymore.  Their rank will maintain because their sales history is actually pretty decent.  

A case study kind of on the other side is in terms of maximizing ranking, is we had a seller in a very, very competition-heavy beauty niche, right?  And so they’re giving away 100 units a day at a promotion, promotional price.  They’re also selling organically.  But after – it took them 30 days to get to position number three, or sorry, position number four.  This is a pretty brand-new product, and they’re maintaining this position, but they’re not increasing just by giving away 100 units a day.  Their BSR was better, so you know, assumedly their velocity was much better than the guys ranking ahead of them.  And so anyways, what they had to do was they had to start giving away 125 units a day, and they did that for another 15 days, which put them to position two.  But even still this guy in position one had probably been ranking for at least the last, you know, six months or so.  And so over the last six months, you know, he’s built up a really, really solid sales history.  And so it’s very difficult for this newer product that when Amazon is going and calculating the 90-day sales history, maybe 180-day sales history, you know they just don’t have any sales because it’s a brand-new product.  And so they’re not able to compete.  And so it took this guy 60 days of giving away – 30 days at 100 units a day, another 30 days at 125 units a day on top of now at this point they’re selling really well organically.  It took them that long in order to be able to outrank this guy in first position because the guy in first position had such a strong sales history.

Rebecca Longenecker:

Are you looking to launch a product but feeling overwhelmed and frustrated by how complicated the process seems?  Giving away inventory can be nerve-racking.  That’s why Viral Launch offers free coaching.  Talk to one of our trained Amazon seller coaches and create a custom launch strategy.  Don’t have time to talk with a coach?  Check out our How to Launch course on the Viral Launch YouTube channel.  You can have a coach walk you through the whole process at your convenience and with the option to play back all the information.

Cameron Yoder:

To summarize – and correct me if I’m wrong, Casey – but to summarize, if you have a longer history of sales with and for your product it will carry more ranking weight than sales for a product with a shorter history, right?  So longer history carries more ranking weight than shorter history when it comes to sales?

Casey Gauss:

Agreed.  At the same time, though, that’s not to say that, you know, if I’m giving away 100 units I would definitely put those 100, depending on the market, I would put those 100 units over 10 days or five days, depending on how competitive the market is.  But you know, if you’re giving away 10 units I would probably rather give away those 10 units over three days than 10 days because it’s not really going to – when Amazon is calculating your average per day sales, you know, one unit a day is not really going to be enough to move the lever.

Cameron Yoder:

Right.  You have to have – well you don’t have to, but it is more effective and efficient to have the combination of the right strategy for sales velocity combined with the presence of a sales history.

Casey Gauss:

Yeah, correct.  And you know, another example, or another almost anecdote is basically – so it’s definitely more difficult for us to rank products that have been on page 10, or you know, not selling very well for, you know, a couple years.  So products that were launched maybe in 2014, off to some initial success and now not doing so well, those products are definitely more difficult for us to rank.  And the reason being is they’ve actually built up a really poor sales history.  And so when Amazon is going and calculating the 180-day average, maybe they’re looking out to a year, maybe further.  It is definitely, you know, when Amazon goes and calculates, oh, you know, you’ve sold 1000 units over the last year, the average per day sales history is very, very poor.  

Even if your velocity is killer right now, Amazon is definitely looking at your sales history.  So maybe you’ve sold 1000 units in the last, you know, 10 days, right?  100 units a day.  That’s really awesome.  Of course, depending on your market.  But that’s really great.  But even still, Amazon is still looking at oh, how have you done over the last 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, year?  And so it just doesn’t compute, and what we see is those guys end up losing their keyword ranking much more quickly, simply because, you know, they don’t have the sales history to compete against those on page 1.

Cameron Yoder:

Right.  So launching – we talked a little bit about launching and what it takes to get to the top of page 1 for a pretty volatile or competitive market, right?  How even if you have a history of a lot of sales or a history of not too many sales, it takes a decent amount of units to get to page 1.  But talk about – talk about less volatile or less competitive markets when it comes to sales history.

Casey Gauss:

Yeah, so sales history is all relative to the market that you’re looking to enter, right?  So if you’re entering a really niche market where these guys are selling page 1, you know, top of page 1 on average.  They’re selling 300 units a month, let’s say, so that’s 10 units a day.  So you only need to build a sales history of 10 units a day.  So you don’t need to be nearly as aggressive as the guys that are selling 30,000 units a month.  It requires the same strategy, right?  Like the same metrics are involved.  The same math is involved on Amazon’s algorithm.  So you just have to put the right numbers in.  It may be a giveaway of seven units a day for 10 days at a promotional price to maintain that rank or to build a good enough sales history to maintain that rank.  Of course you need to sell well organically post-launch in order to continue –

Cameron Yoder:

Right, to maintain.

Casey Gauss:

– to build sales history so that you can continue to maintain that rank.

Cameron Yoder:

Like you said, it’s relative to the market at hand.

Casey Gauss:

Completely.

Cameron Yoder:

Completely.  So the big takeaway, what is our – what is our audience’s takeaway, Casey?

Casey Gauss:

Two things.  One, do not focus on BSR.  Forget it.  Only pay attention to ranking.  And then two, really focus on building a strong sales history.  Don’t go in and just give away product over five days just because you want to improve your velocity and you think it’s that velocity that is going to help you maintain rank and then drive organic sales from there.  Really you need to focus on building up your average per day sales history.  And so if you have older products, you know, there’s some great ways of relaunching those products within Amazon’s terms of service.  Please don’t violate Amazon’s terms of service.  We’re never advocates for that.

Cameron Yoder:

Right, right.

Casey Gauss:

But maybe you should find a way to couple it with some additional product that you throw into the packaging or something so that you can relaunch that ASIN, if you’re trying to revive an old ASIN, just because it has, you know, such a bad sales history.  The tough part is, you know, if you have a great review quantity relative to the market then you have to figure that out.  But anyways, please focus on building that sales history, not sales velocity.

Cameron Yoder:

I am an advocate for the mentality, in this case especially, that it is a marathon, and it’s not a sprint.  Gain that sales history.

Well hey, that’s all for this week.  Thank you so much for joining us on Follow the Data.  For more reliable information about what’s really happening on Amazon, subscribe to our podcast and check out the Viral Launch blog at Viral-Launch.com.

Casey Gauss:

And don’t forget to leave us a review on iTunes.  Please, please.

Cameron Yoder:

Please.

Casey Gauss:

If you like the podcast, of course.  If you didn’t, please let us know how we can improve it.  

Casey Gauss:

We like honest feedback, so please send us your honest feedback. If you want to be featured on the show leave us a voicemail and tell us your thoughts on today’s episode and/or any questions you have about Amazon Viral Launch or, you know, life in general.  We’ll take them all.

Cameron Yoder:

We’d love to hear your life advice, please.

Casey Gauss:

Our number is 317-721-6590.  Join us next week as we dispel the myth of diversification.

Cameron Yoder:

Ooh.

Casey Gauss:

Until then, remember the data is out there.

 

About the Amazon FBA Seller Podcast:

Viral Launch CEO, Casey Gauss, and Amazon Seller Coach Cameron Yoder bring data-driven insights to the Seller community in their weekly discussions. 

On the show you’ll get the latest Amazon selling strategies and best practices based on the company’s experience launching over 22,000 products and working with over 5,500 brands. Casey and Cam will bring you up to speed on the latest Amazon news, share stories of success and failure, explore the difficulties of entrepreneurship, and discuss the way Amazon is changing retail. 

At the center of the show is the Viral Launch commitment to offering reliable information to today’s entrepreneurs.

BONUS: Q4 Part I Optimizing your Listing (Follow the Data Ep. 2)

Follow the Data Episode 2: BONUS Q4 Part I Optimizing Your Listing

The holiday season begins in October for Amazon sellers, but it’s not all fun and gifts. Being aware of fee changes, having crucial deadlines circled on your calendar, and optimizing your listing to move sales is just part of the diligent work it takes to beat out the competition and increase profits during the biggest shopping event of the year. Listen in as Casey and Cameron detail how to prepare for success in Amazon Q4.

Listen on iTunes . See All Episodes

Listen on Stitcher / Listen on Google Play

 

Follow the Data Show Notes:

  • Check out this Amazon press release for more cool and crazy stats about Q4 2016 like those featured at the opening of the show.
  • Important Dates
    • Oct. 1 – Reduced Fulfillment and Increased Storage fees
      • Fulfillment Fees will be reduced and will now be consistent with Fulfillment Fees in November and December. With the reduction in Fulfillment Fees, if you reduce the storage space you use in October, you have the opportunity to pay lower total FBA fees in October.
      • The monthly inventory storage fee for October will be increased for standard-size and oversize items to be consistent with the monthly inventory storage fees for November and December.
    • Mid-October – FBA Cutoff for new FBA Seller Accounts
      • This one is for those who have not sent a product into FBA through their seller account. On October 10, 2016, Amazon denied new FBA sellers in anticipation for full warehouses. This year, watch for the same cutoff in mid-October. As confirmed by an Amazon rep, this restriction is account-based, not ASINbased. So if you’re planning to start selling later this fall, send in a few products to FBA now to ensure your eligibility for the 2017 holiday season
    • Nov. 7 – FBA Inventory Deadline for Black Friday and Cyber Monday
      • This one is crucial. Make sure you plan to have your Black Friday and Cyber Monday inventory arrive at Amazon before early November (or even well before then, just to be safe).
    • Nov. 24 – Black Friday
      • The day after Thanksgiving, regarded as the first day of the traditional shopping season will set the holiday shopping in motion. From now until Christmas, FBA sellers must be on top of their game to capitalize on the immense sales potential.
    • Nov. 27 – Cyber Monday
      • comScore reported Amazon ranked #1 among online retailers in Cyber Monday traffic for 2016, and this year will likely follow suit. Gear up for massive sales on November 27th.
    • Dec. 1 – FBA Inventory Deadline for Sending in Inventory to be Delivered by Christmas
      • The peak worldwide shipping day during the 2016 holiday season was December 19th. Just because Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over doesn’t mean you should pump the breaks. Make sure your Christmas inventory is in Amazon’s warehouses by the December 1, if not earlier.
  • Optimizing your Listing
  • For more helpful tips about preparing for Q4, download the Viral Launch Q4 Guide.
  • Check out our How to Launch YouTube Course
  • A Viral Launch Review: 3 Amazon Product Launch Case Studies
  • Want to be on the show? Leave us a voicemail at (317) 721-6590

 

Podcast Transcript

Casey Gauss:
In just three months during 2016 Amazon generated almost a third of its yearly revenue, and with growth projections pointing skyward, we’re expecting an even bigger holiday season for Amazon this year.

Cameron Yoder:
Q4 is almost here, and if you’re not already preparing, it’s time to start. Competition is fierce around this time of year, and only those who meet the season head-on will truly benefit from the extraordinary amount of traffic Amazon is likely to see. I’m Cameron Yoder.

Casey Gauss:
And I’m Casey Gauss, your host for Follow the Data: Your Journey to Amazon FBA Success. In this show we’ll leverage the data we’ve accumulated at Viral Launch from over 20,000 product launches and our experience working with 5500 brands to help you understand the big picture when it comes to Amazon and, most importantly, the best practices for success as an Amazon seller.

Cameron Yoder:
We’re taking a break right now from our four-part series on dispelling myths to help you start preparing for the most important sales quarter of the year, yes, Q4. In this episode we’ll run through all of the must-know dates and all the vital prep that will set you up for success for this holiday season.

Casey Gauss:
By the time the episode is over hopefully you’ll have your work cut out for you and a proven prep strategy that will help you take advantage of the crazy Amazon Q4 sales coming your way.

Cameron Yoder:
Q4 2016 on Amazon was an event like the US economy has never seen. In the course of three months Amazon delivered enough men’s jeans – men’s jeans – to fill an Olympic -sized swimming pool. That’s crazy. Customers purchased enough 4K TVs to reach the peak of Mount Everest more than nine times, and 2.5 million watches were purchased. That is a watch sale every 1.5 seconds.

Casey Gauss:
I heard they had to actually go to an Olympic pool to measure the jeans there.

Cameron Yoder:
Yeah, I think you’re right actually.

Casey Gauss:
It’s pretty interesting.

Cameron Yoder:
You know, out of all those TVs I still don’t have a 4K TV.

Casey Gauss:
Missing out man.

Cameron Yoder:
I know.

Casey Gauss:
Viral Launch needs to pay you more.

Cameron Yoder:
Ah, geez.

Casey Gauss:
So Q4 was huge in 2016, and it’s going to be even bigger this year. If you want to claim your share of Q4 sales you need to make sure your business is set up to succeed. Let’s get started.

Cameron Yoder:
Yep. So we’re talking about important dates right now. I would encourage you, if you’re in a spot to be able to write them down or type them out, then follow through with us. But if not, then you can just go back and listen to the podcast and get those dates.

Casey Gauss:
We’ll also have some show notes.

Cameron Yoder:
Yeah, oh yeah, right. Well, I guess that helps, too. So the first date we’re going to talk about is October 1st. Now this is coming up. It’s soon. October 1st is the date where fulfillment fees will reduce and inventory and storage fees will increase.

Casey Gauss:
Amazon does not want to be a warehouse, but they do want to ship your goods when sales are happening, and they want to make sure that they are the warehouse to do that. So definitely make sure that you mark this down. Make sure that you have inventory moving, and ideally, if possible, don’t use Amazon as a storage facility.

Cameron Yoder:
This is – we’ll go through some of this later, but really having your inventory planned and numbers planned kind of goes into account here. Now these numbers, the reductions in fulfillment fees and increase in inventory and storage fees, will go into effect in October, but they’ll last through November and December, so again, throughout that holiday season.

Casey Gauss:
In mid-October last year in 2016 we saw a cut off for new FBA seller accounts.

Cameron Yoder:
Now this was actually kind of crazy for new sellers because Amazon did not announce it beforehand.

Casey Gauss:
Yeah, so if you had $500,000 of inventory that you purchased because you thought you were going to get rich in Amazon Q4 but you hadn’t created your seller account and sent inventory in, like you were just completely screwed. So Cam has got the trick for you.

Cameron Yoder:
I’ve got the trick. Here’s a trick that should work. Again, we’re not claiming that it’s going to work indefinitely for every single person. However, however, we have seen this work for others. So if you are a new FBA seller and you have not sent in inventory yet, here is something you can do to ensure, or hopefully ensure, that you will be able to send in inventory if you plan on getting your inventory in after mid-October, which you should get it in as soon as you can. But if you haven’t created an order yet you should go to the store. You should buy something, and you should send it in to Amazon FBA. Basically you should do what’s called retail arbitrage. So you’re going to go to the store, you’re going to buy something, and you’re going to flip it basically and sell it on Amazon. You’re going create a separate shipping order. If you need instructions on how to do that just Google Amazon retail arbitrage or how to ship retail arbitrage stuff into Amazon, and it will take you through it. But basically by doing this you are creating a shipping order for Amazon which will basically get that one, that one or that first shipping order out of the way, and Amazon will then allow you to create another shipping order once your inventory gets in or is on its way.

Casey Gauss:
Next date is November 7th. This is the inventory deadline for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and this does not mean send your last shipment on November 6th at midnight. It takes time to get your stuff checked into FBA, and during the holiday season Amazon is definitely ramping up staff to make sure that they can process all the inventory and all the orders. But sometimes there’s major delays, and you know we’ve definitely had friends that their inventory gets stuck in customs, or it gets stuck in FBA going through the check-in process. So the earlier you can get your inventory in in preparation for Black Friday/Cyber Monday, the better, and the more likely it is that you are able to guarantee that you’ll have the inventory you want to sell.

Cameron Yoder:
So if you want to make some crazy good sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, have your inventory in before November 7th. Again, in Amazon. Now as for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Black Friday is on the 24th of November, and Cyber Monday is on the 27th. So again, November 7th, 24th, 27th. Cyber Monday was – this is just a little fact — but Amazon reportedly ranked number one among online retailers for Cyber Monday traffic in 2016. We’re assuming it’s the same thing for 2017.

Casey Gauss:
Yep, and then final date just to be aware of, December 1st is the deadline to send inventory in to be delivered by Christmas. Again, please expect delays. Do not expect things to go quickly. Make sure that you have your inventory in as quick as possible. Another interesting little fact is the peak worldwide shipping day in 2016 was December 19th.

Cameron Yoder:
Geez. I want to reiterate the deadlines. Again, mid-October is at — unconfirmed, again unconfirmed cut off for new FBA sellers. November 7th is the deadline to have your stuff in for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. December 1st is that Christmas inventory deadline.

Casey Gauss:
So next we want to talk about optimizing your listings in preparation for Q4. You know, really at the end of the day this should go without saying, but we kind of want to dive in a little bit. You need to have your ducks in a row for Q4 because this is the biggest shopping season – not single-day; that’s Prime Day assumedly – this is the biggest shopping season of your career. Like it’s not worth cutting the corners or, you know, being lazy and just expecting the money to roll in. Will some money role in? For sure. But if you could be making tens of thousands of dollars more by taking an extra day or two extra days, it’s totally worth it.

Cameron Yoder:
And all this stuff, I mean this advice for optimizing the quality of your product, should be taken into account every single day for the rest of the year.

Casey Gauss:
For sure.

Cameron Yoder:
But it’s going to matter probably the most around this time of the year.

Casey Gauss:
Yeah, everything is just amplified. Cam, let’s talk about photography.

Cameron Yoder:
Yeah, let’s talk about it. Let’s talk about photos, yo. With photography, honestly, the most important thing is to have high-quality, a high-quality professional hero image that stands out to accentuate all product features. It tells a story, or your photos in general tell a story, and establish and build an emotional connection with whoever is seeing it. What do people see when they search for products? Your photo. They see your photos. They see your listing. So having something that’s really well done in that realm, in the realm of photography, is going to be important. I think, from what I’ve seen after talking with a lot of sellers, people get lost in their own photography. And personally I think they need to – I think sellers need to get the opinion of other people that they trust to tell them what they think about their photos. It could be going to like five people and asking them, hey, what do you think of these photos? Are they good, or are they not?

Casey Gauss:
And don’t even tell them that they’re your photos. And you become emotionally attached to your product and whatever materials are surrounding it. And so you are obviously biased that your photos are good, or your photos are better than the competition, and you would just not believe the photos that we have seen where sellers, you know, asking us to optimize their listing or help them increase sales. And you know we just see the images, and it’s absolutely insane that these guys think they’re great. You know it’s hard for us. We want to be nice –

Cameron Yoder:
Of course, of course.

Casey Gauss:
– and say hey, you know, we think you should maybe consider getting or improving your images. And then, you know, they’re like oh no, I’ve had professionals do that.

Cameron Yoder:
They’re good. They’re good to go.

Casey Gauss:
And it’s like it’s just absolutely laughable. And so you know, you’re probably not a creative. You’re probably not the best judge to say whether or not your photos are as optimized as possible. Definitely using split testing to get some data around, you know, what is the best image, what is the best main image, what is the best photo set, what is the best order of my photo set? These are all things that we’re constantly split testing because we want to understand what makes the best photo sets possible. How can we improve sales as best as possible? Definitely, like Cam was saying, having a high-quality main image is important. If you’re having someone shoot photos, have them shoot three or four different potential hero images so that you can identify this one is driving the most clicks; this one is driving the most sessions. Typically it’s not the main image. The main image is just driving clicks. Definitely invest in some high-quality lifestyle shots so customers can really build an emotional connection to your product so you can really tell that story. See much better conversion rates when we have high-quality lifestyle photos. You just cannot supplement those with some Photoshopped who knows what.

Cameron Yoder:
Let’s move on. Let’s move on to listing. Casey, what you got?

Casey Gauss:
You cannot have temporary language, or you’re not supposed to have temporary language in your listings. I have a friend; they’re doing like 150 K a day, and they had their entire account suspended because they had the term “holiday sale” in the title of one of their listings, just one of their listings. Their entire 150 K-a-day operation was suspended for a little over a week, which is pretty insane. So please do not use holiday type language. Some of your competitors will get away with it. Some of your competitors will not. So if that’s a gamble you want to play, I mean –

Cameron Yoder:
It’s not worth it, in my opinion.

Casey Gauss:
Yeah, I mean yeah, that’s completely your call. Definitely make sure that, again, everything is as optimized as possible. Make sure that your language is tailored to the holiday shopper, but again, don’t use that temporary language like sale, holiday, unless holiday is very descriptive of what the product is. Backend keywords, really backend search terms just don’t matter very much. I mean, at the end of the day you only need to include a word one time in your listing. Keywords in your title are much more heavily ranked than anywhere else in the listing. So if you should be worrying about anything, it’s your title. You should be keyword stuffing as much as possible, as much as possible while still giving like a cohesive title so you can maximize the number of keywords and the total views possible for your listing.

Cameron Yoder:
There is a confirmed limit on – basically byte limits for the backend keywords. In the United States it’s 250, but again, that’s 250 without – or characters without spaces for indexing from the backend, 500 in Japan, 200 in India.

Casey Gauss:
Yeah, and, you know, at the end of the day, again, you should not be repeating those backend search terms. So everybody’s like all up in the air about backend search terms, and in reality that’s only 250 characters. There’s so many – I don’t remember of the top of my head anymore – but you have, you know, 100 characters in the title, 100 characters in the five bullet points on your listing and then 2000 characters in your description. So why are you so, you know, worked up over this portion of your listing that’s not even 10% of your listing’s content? Anyways, basically use backend search terms. Don’t repeat any words that you’ve repeated or already put in the front end of the listing. Just don’t worry about them.

Cameron Yoder:
Hey, thank you so much for joining us for part one of our Q4 episode. Feel free to join Casey and I for part two where we’ll talk about the role of enhanced brand content in optimizing your listing, as well as inventory planning and the best way to perfectly time a product promotion to make it big this Q4. I promise you won’t want to miss it.

 

About the Amazon FBA Seller Podcast:

Viral Launch CEO, Casey Gauss, and Amazon Seller Coach Cameron Yoder bring data-driven insights to the Seller community in their weekly discussions.

On the show you’ll get the latest Amazon selling strategies and best practices based on the company’s experience launching over 22,000 products and working with over 5,500 brands. Casey and Cam will bring you up to speed on the latest Amazon news, share stories of success and failure, explore the difficulties of entrepreneurship, and discuss the way Amazon is changing retail.

At the center of the show is the Viral Launch commitment to offering reliable information to today’s entrepreneurs.

 

Dispelling Myths: 90% Off Promotions (Follow the Data Ep. 1)

Follow the Data Episode 1: Dispelling Myths: 90% Off Promotions

Do launches work? Amazon gives higher keyword ranking to products sold at full price, leaving deeply discounted promotional products in the dust… Or so the myth goes. In the inaugural episode of the “Dispelling Myths” series, Viral Launch CEO Casey Gauss dives into the data to validate, or dispel, this widespread concern among Amazon sellers.

Listen on iTunes . See All Episodes

Listen on Stitcher / Listen on Google Play

 

Follow the Data Show Notes:

 

Podcast Transcript

Casey Gauss:
Everyone’s looking for like that next hack. It makes logical sense that 90% off promotions don’t drive as much keyword ranking. You know the problem is that the data just doesn’t show that.

Cameron Yoder:
The buzz about town is that running promotions to get ranking may not work the way it used to. Today we’re diving into the data to see what’s really going on. I’m Cameron Yoder.

Casey Gauss:
And I’m Casey Gauss, your host for Follow the Data: Your Journey to Amazon FBA Success. So in this show we leverage the data we’ve accumulated at Viral Launch from over 20,000 product launches and our experience working with over 5500 brands on Amazon to help you understand the big picture when it comes to Amazon and, most importantly, the best practices for success as an Amazon seller.

Cameron Yoder:
These first four inaugural episodes of Follow the Data are all part of our Dispelling Myths series in which we explore topics that have garnered a lot of conversation among the Amazon seller community recently, but that until now have not been proven or disproven using factual evidence.

Casey Gauss:
We’ll talk about where these Amazon myths come from, why they seem to logically make sense, and what the data is saying, and what is actually happening and how you can apply that moving forward.

Cameron Yoder:
All right, Casey, so this is Episode 1 of Dispelling Myths. We’re talking about promotions here. Can you tell us a little bit about this myth? What exactly is this myth?

Casey Gauss:
Yeah, so essentially this myth is basically stating that Amazon gives higher ranking power or effect to sales at full price versus, you know, the promotions at 90% off. The theory is that if you are running a promotion, if you’re giving a product away at a discount or selling it at a discount, especially 90% off, you’re not going to get nearly as much ranking power as a full-price sale.

Cameron Yoder:
So someone selling on Amazon, let’s say they give away items at 50% off. People are saying that those are not as effective or efficient as – or that the 90% off promotions are not as effective or efficient as the 50% off coupons. Is that right?

Casey Gauss:
Yep, correct.

Cameron Yoder:
Okay, okay. So where – or when, when did this idea start? Like where did it come from?

Casey Gauss:
Yeah, you know, we’ve seen this idea ever since 2014 when we got started. To be honest, I think that it’s definitely had a resurgence. We’ve seen people say you know back in the day oh Amazon will only let a review stick, or you can only get review power if it is at zero dollars, or if it’s over five dollars. You know there’s always these kind of arbitrary metrics that people throw out, and so now there’s just this resurgence. You know I’ve probably seen it a lot more over the last three months maybe, maybe around May, maybe around June, somewhere around there.

Cameron Yoder:
So why do you think it’s researching? Like why is this coming back?

Casey Gauss:
The – so yeah, so I mean with any myth I think a lot of it boils down or finds its root in everyone’s looking for like that next hack. It makes logical sense that 90% off promotions don’t drive as much keyword ranking. You know the problem is that the data just doesn’t show that.

Cameron Yoder:
Another point I guess that’s important, right, is that I mean it would be really, really great if it wasn’t true, right, that oh, that means if 90% off promotions aren’t as effective or efficient, then we don’t have to give products away at 90% off. Like that is a very appealing notion, right? So then that means that sellers don’t have to give products away for extreme discounts.

Casey Gauss:
Yeah, okay, yeah, very true. I would definitely like to point that out as – so it’s called consistency bias, right?

Cameron Yoder:
Yeah, right.

Casey Gauss:
And so you don’t want to spend the money associated with selling product at 90% off, and so you would like to tell yourself that it is great to – or that Amazon prefers full-price sales, and that’s why you want to head that way. Oh yeah, so another instance in which this kind of comes up is, you know, people run one promotion and they don’t get the keyword ranking they expected to see, right? So I’m selling a fish oil. I think I need to give away 50 units a day, let’s just say. And so I do that, and I expected to get to page 1, but I only got to bottom of page 2, right? And so then instantly everybody would jump to oh my gosh, promotions don’t work nearly as well. It must be full-price sales that are the answer. And you know the problem with that is here’s where, you know, the Viral Launch data or perspective really comes into play is that we’re running hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of promotions every day. So we have tons of data where you know, we’re tracking keyword ranking –

Cameron Yoder:
Right.

Casey Gauss:
– for keywords, the targeted keyword, as well as keywords that we find in the title, in the bullet points, in the rest of the listings. So we really, really understand how sales interact with the content of a listing, or tracking the price point of sale, or tracking are coupons present when we have MWS access. And so yeah, we’re able to really get this really broad perspective of the market versus you run one promotion, maybe your keyword, main keyword, wasn’t in the title. Maybe it wasn’t in your listing at all. Maybe, you know, you weren’t even indexed for it, or you know there’s a number of different factors that – and sometimes you know there’s things like cursed products where we just cannot get those things to rank in –

Cameron Yoder:
Cursed products.

Casey Gauss:
Yeah, that’s what we call it. So yeah, there’s so many different variables coming into play that running one test and then not getting the results that you had expected or intended is not enough of a sample size to really draw a strong correlation or a strong conclusion.

Cameron Yoder:
Right. And we, in terms of data – like you were talking about data – we really have that sample size. Again, like we run – we run promotions every single day, and they’re all built off of – or not every single one, but almost all of them are built off of 90% off promotions.

Casey Gauss:
Yeah.

Cameron Yoder:
If that didn’t work and it wasn’t effective, it wouldn’t work for us.

Casey Gauss:
Right.

Cameron Yoder:
And we see it every single day.

Casey Gauss:
Yeah, so I mean getting into the data of it, simply we’re running hundreds and hundreds of launches, and the amount— our ability to drive keyword ranking is just insane. And so at the end of the day Amazon is paying attention to did a sale happen? They’re not paying attention to the number of units that occurred or the price at which it is actually purchased. I think Amazon cares or is paying more attention to the price that the product is listed at.

Cameron Yoder: Let’s transition to a break. We’ll be back right after this message.

Rebecca Longenecker:
Hey, I’m Rebecca Longenecker, the producer for Follow the Data, and I wanted to let you know about a really cool resource the Viral Launch team just published. With this holiday season promising to be the biggest yet for Amazon, we’re offering an e-book that walks you through every aspect of Q4 preparation, from inventory planning, to optimizing your listing for mobile, to making sure your product is showing up in search. We’ve got you covered. There are also fun facts, helpful notes and handy little checklists you can use to evaluate how prepared you are. Don’t miss out on this year’s holiday sales. Go to viral-launch.com/Q4 to download the e-book now. That’s viral-launch.com/Q4. Thanks!

Cameron Yoder:
And we’re back again talking about the myth of giveaways and promotions. So Casey, let’s talk a little bit more about the data that’s backing this dispelling up. Can you touch on everything just a little bit more?

Casey Gauss:
Yeah, you know I think the really simple analogy or the simple logic here to kind of give everyone an example is as simple as this. So let’s take fish oil as an example, and someone wants to run a promotion to get ranking for the keyword, “fish oil.” Well, what we do is we go and we look, okay, here’s page 1 for fish oil. You know these guys are selling, let’s say it’s 50 units a day average page 1 or bottom half of page 1. And we want to get ranking there. So what we will do is we will give away 50 units per day targeting this keyword, “fish oil,” and after three days, five days, maybe seven days we’ll be ranking bottom of page 1 for fish oil, and we did – we ran 90% off promotion. So 90% of the sale price, these guys are selling 50 units a day at the organic price, and we sold at 90% off, and we’re still able to drive the same amount of keyword ranking. And so again, if Amazon did not – or reduced the amount of keyword ranking power as some kind of function of the purchase price we would not be ranking alongside these people that are selling just as many units except at the organic price. So that alone kind of just busts that myth, completely dispels that.

You know, another area this myth came from is there are these, you know, quote unquote experts or service providers in the space that are saying oh, you have to do these full-price deals with us, and the reason they’re doing that and they’re promising these crazy affects, right? So if you come and use our service we will guarantee you hit page 1 or number one most of the time, and we guarantee you will stay there for 30 days. The reason our method is so effective is because we’re using these gift cards to run full-price sales, and in reality what people didn’t realize was this person was running a bot or this artificial ranking method to your listing, and that’s what was getting you the results. That’s what was helping to maintain those results. It wasn’t the fact that you used these gift cards. And so that’s really frustrating to me because one, you know this person is operating on your business without your consent in a black hat manner, and two, they’re just, you know, completely lying about what is driving the results, which then goes and leads people down these dark paths. You know, it is against terms of service to compensate someone or reimburse someone for buying your product. It is absolutely stated explicitly in the terms of service that you cannot do this. It’s black hat. You know, will you get caught for it? I personally don’t know anybody that has. But you know, I think it’s one little slip up and now you’re in trouble for, you know, manipulating Amazon’s system or compensating buyers for purchasing your product.

Cameron Yoder:
Right. Let’s touch a little bit on just like the mentality of why, like why 90%? So why not? Why not? Why can’t – people are asking, why can’t I just launch my product at 50% off? It’s still a heavy discount, right, so why is 90% necessary? Touch on that.

Casey Gauss:
Yeah, so the discounted price or percentage is not a function of effectiveness.

Cameron Yoder:
Right.

Casey Gauss:
It is really, you know, we’re running generally around 450 or so launches a day right now, and so yes, we have a buyer list of 350,000 in the US, but you know these guys have – some of these people have been on our list for, you know, years and years and years.

Cameron Yoder:
A long time.

Casey Gauss:
And so if we’re selling an iPhone 7 case or a fish oil, like this demographic that we have only has so much discretionary income, and if you’re selling your product at 50% off, let’s say $10, versus the usual $1, $2, whatever, like that’s $8 less discretionary income they have to go buy our other products. And so in order to make sure the demand is high enough in the group for every launch that we’re running, we want to keep prices as low as possible so they have the money to buy more stuff.

Cameron Yoder:
Right. The 90% off is very much – it’s a means of control. Like you need to move – you need to move, if you’re launching, again, for fish oil, you’re going to have to move an insane amount of units to get to the top. The 90% off really gives control and gives you the ability to launch to page 1 for that. So the 90% off is a means of moving the launch forward and making it effective.

Casey Gauss:
And you know, to be honest, from like a competitive standpoint, you know if I were a larger seller I would actually kind of prefer this because the smaller sellers don’t have the budget –

Cameron Yoder:
Right, right.

Casey Gauss:
– to be really aggressive in these high-volume markets at these low prices. So they have to, you know, work their way up in a much slower process. And as a larger seller, yes, it is more expensive, but you’re essentially pricing or paying your competitors out of the market, which, you know, for large sellers that works. For smaller sellers, you know, this is why we definitely suggest getting into smaller niches where you don’t have to give away 100 units a day for seven days just to get on page 1, let alone maintain that ranking or whatever.

Cameron Yoder:
Oh, but what about fidget spinners?

Casey Gauss:
Yeah. We don’t want to talk about those.

Cameron Yoder:
No, no, no. So that’s actually a good transition into the takeaway. Let’s talk about what is the main takeaway? From my perspective it’s all about the risk, right, the reward of the risk. You have to take a huge risk. You are taking an investment, kind of an investment with giving away this many units. But giving away this many units at a 90% off discount is going to give you the control and get you on to page 1. And from there, then you will be able to make that increase in sales.

Casey Gauss:
Yeah, oh, completely. I would say, especially like – or specifically to this particular myth I think the takeaways are one, really be careful of who you’re trusting and paying attention to. Two, definitely make sure that you are getting a really solid sample size when you are making conclusions. Again, running one promotion that doesn’t get the ranking effects that you expected it to, you know, maybe you underestimated the number of units needed to give because the guys on page 1 are selling more units through that keyword than you had anticipated. Who knows? But anyways, yeah, please pay attention to your sample size when drawing conclusions because the last thing you want is to draw some conclusion and then spend the next three months and $20,000 trying to build a business around this, you know, this wrongly-founded conclusion. Yeah, and then three, really is at the end of the day, like you have to spend money to make money, like Cam is saying.

Cameron Yoder:
Right, right.

Casey Gauss:
And you know, unfortunately that’s the case right now. And yeah, you know, we’re definitely biased in saying that, but the problem is in that bias like we’ve just seen so many people have success. We just posted three Viral Launch case studies where this guy came, and he was doing $400K a month, and he came in, ran promotions across his product line, and after 30 days he’s doing $650K a month organically just because he improved the keyword rank position of his product. So yeah, he spent a bunch of money. I thought it was $250,000 to get that ranking, but now, you know, his sales are just killing it compared to where he was at. So –

Cameron Yoder:
Yeah.

Casey Gauss:
Yeah.

Cameron Yoder:
Take a zoomed out perspective. Ask why with everything that you’re doing. Make sure you’re getting all the data. Make sure you’re getting all the facts.

Casey Gauss:
Awesome. All right. We’ll see you guys later.

Cameron Yoder:
Hey, that is all for this week. Thank you so much for joining us here on Follow the Data. For more reliable information about what’s really happening on Amazon subscribe to the podcast and check out the Viral Launch blog at Viral-Launch.com.

Casey Gauss:
And don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes if you liked or enjoyed the podcast. We really appreciate your feedback as we work to build this podcast for you. Want to be featured on the show? Leave us a voicemail and tell us your thoughts on today’s episode, or ask us any of your Amazon questions. Our number is 317-721-6590. It will be linked in the show notes. Join us next week when we dispel the myth of Amazon sales velocity. Until then, remember, the data is out there.

 

About the Amazon FBA Seller Podcast:

Viral Launch CEO, Casey Gauss, and Amazon Seller Coach Cameron Yoder bring data-driven insights to the Seller community in their weekly discussions.

On the show you’ll get the latest Amazon selling strategies and best practices based on the company’s experience launching over 22,000 products and working with over 5,500 brands. Casey and Cam will bring you up to speed on the latest Amazon news, share stories of success and failure, explore the difficulties of entrepreneurship, and discuss the way Amazon is changing retail.

At the center of the show is the Viral Launch commitment to offering reliable information to today’s entrepreneurs.

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