In the Podcast:
00:34 – Episode & Guest Overview
04:00 – What Causes People to Fail on Amazon
09:20 – Key Components to Build a Business in Amazon
16:10 – Assess the Demand Before Entering The Market
23:56 – How Getting Traffic In Your Listing Works
32:15 – Maximize The Market You Started In
33:50 – How Much You Need to Start in Amazon to Get a Good Return
37:40 – Tips for the People Who Wanted to Start Out in Amazon
39:00 – Learn More About Kevin King
Episode & Guest Overview
So welcome back to today’s episode on Teach Traffic.
I’m your host, Ilana Wechsler. And I’m really excited to introduce today’s guest today, his name is Kevin King.
And I’ll leave him to tell you where he’s from. Because some, he said he doesn’t really have a website anymore.
So Kevin, welcome to today’s episode, we’re going to be talking today about How to Succeed with Selling on Amazon in 2020.
And I think there’s probably you’re very, very equipped to talk about this particular topic having been in the Amazon space and e-commerce space for a really long time. So welcome to today’s episode.
Thanks, I’m glad you’re having me. Thanks for inviting me on Ilana!
The pleasure is all mine. So do you want to kind of maybe touch on before we kind of get into, you know, what it’s like to sell on Amazon in 2020?
Because the space changes a lot, you maybe want to talk a little bit about, I don’t know, like how you kind of got to this arena of working in this space. I’m always interested in people’s journeys.
Sure, yeah, I’ve been an entrepreneur pretty much my whole life. I’m in my early 50s right now. And last time I worked for someone I was, I think 17 years old, working at a McDonald’s.
So I’m not the typical person that’s left my corporate job and, and looking for some sort of freedom, I’ve pretty much had that kind of freedom my entire life.
But as you know, being an entrepreneur or business owner, sometimes you actually work more than you do if you actually are just an employee for the company.
But I’ve been able to structure my life in such a way that I’ve been able to travel the world and, and do pretty much what I want to do.
So I’ve been doing direct marketing and e-commerce for 30 somewhat years.
And then back before there was a Google back when Yahoo just first came out when email just kind of started taking off in 93 and 94 publicly.
So I’ve been doing I think I put out my first websites 96 or 97 actually, first store, you know, driving traffic through like AltaVista and Yahoo and things like that.
Back before, you know, Google had their auction system that they have now there was another company where you could get like one cent bits, it was a go to was go, was it called Goto.com? I think it was.
And they would like, they would buy or negotiate spots on other sites.
And I think the minimum bid was one penny. And if you bid three cents, a lot of times you could win the auction.
And then Google kind of modeled after them. And the rest is history.
But yeah, so I’ve been doing for a while, been selling on Amazon, since like 1999, 2000, something like that.
But really, as a third party seller, which is the what most people are familiar with, when you say you’re an Amazon seller, now it’s where you source products, usually in China, and then you find opportunities on Amazon, where there’s holes in the market, source products in China, then private label them into your own brand or own name, you make some modifications, you can also invent new products or something if you want to, but most people just basically take something that exists and just kind of create a private label around it.
I’ve been doing that for about six years, that aspect of it, but selling on Amazon as a merchant for a long time.
What Causes People to Fail on Amazon
Yeah, right. Amazing.
Before we kind of get stuck into what you need to do to succeed, do you mind sort of touching on why you think so many people fail?
And I think it’s not really talked about in the market? I think it’s something like 98% of people who try to sell on Amazon fail, and maybe, maybe that statistic is not real, maybe you would know better.
But what are the sort of things that cause people to fail with selling on Amazon?
Well, what’s happened to is selling on Amazon, it’s become the kind of the, the end thing to do.
So there’s, in around two, Amazon opened up their business 10, owner exact number 10, 12 years ago to where they allowed, maybe a little bit more than that little third party people to come on their platform.
So Amazon decided back around 2004, 2005 somewhere around in that period that hey, you know what, if we want to be Earth’s biggest bookstore, we can’t do it all ourselves.
We can’t financially handle this where we got a Bible inventory, we got to manage all this, why don’t we let some other people that have stores come onto the platform and sell they can take advantage of our traffic and our infrastructure, it will let them sell.
And that just kind of grew into what today is the FBA program where Amazon, you ship your stuff in Amazon and they fulfill it under the prime just as if it was their own merchandise.
So most people don’t realize that 55 to 60% of the items in the United States, at least, that are sold on Amazon are not sold by Amazon, they never, they didn’t find that product, they didn’t create the advertising for it.
And a lot of cases, they’re not even driving that specific traffic to it.
It’s someone like myself, sitting at my house, that’s come up with this idea. And I’m just taking advantage of this whole infrastructure that Amazon has.
And so what’s happened as a result of that around 2013, some guys amazing a company called amazin.com, came out with a 2012.
And 13 came out with a course like they kind of figured out look, if you go out and create your own nutritional supplement or create your own broom and put your name on it, you can take advantage of all this traffic and all this audience that Amazon already has. And you can make money.
And they put out a course on that. And it was like $5,000. And that kind of started the whole trend. And then a lot of people have jumped on it.
So now if you go onto YouTube, or you just type in sell on Amazon, or how to sell on Amazon, you’ll see tons and tons of people pitching this because everybody’s trying to do that that’s where a lot of them that’s the only place they can make money is trying to sell people courses.
So it’s kind of become an infomercial, or the new late night television, you know, get rich in real estate kind of thing.
And so a few people in the beginning did really well, didn’t have to do much, didn’t have to drive much traffic and have spent much on advertising.
And you know, just find a broomstick, put their name on it.
And you know, they were a millionaire in a year and the right place at the right time. But today that pretty much doesn’t exist.
Because so many people have come into it, Amazon’s grown so much it’s evolved so much. Amazon was for a long time, their advertising platform was way behind Google, Google was way more sophisticated, what you could do in the targeting and segmentation.
Amazon didn’t have most of that until about a year ago, year and a half ago. So it’s very rudimentary, so it’s easy to manipulate it.
So a lot of people are pitching these courses, and a lot of people will see it as a get rich quick, they’ll see these screenshots, and so on that went from, you know, some housewife that went from zero to 7 figures to a million dollars in sales in a year.
And they’re like, damn, I’m sick of my corporate job. I want to stay home with the kids and, and not travel the world and be able to do this. So they jump in.
And they usually jump in not knowing what they’re doing the undercapitalized and not really knowing what they’re doing.
Because to do this business takes you got to wear a lot of either you have to have a big team or you’ve got to wear a lot of hats, you got to know logistics, you got to know advertising, you got to know product sourcing, got to know keyword research, you got to know customer service, you got to know inventory management, a ton of things, and it’s just too much for most people, and they don’t have the experience or the team behind them.
So that’s why about 98% of the people that actually try to sell on Amazon fail.
I mean, there’s some that break through, you know, I think Amazon put out last year in the US there’s about around 4 million accounts in the US seller accounts.
And somewhere in the neighborhood of 30,000 or so, of those actually did over seven figures in sales…
That’s top line revenue.
Yeah, so that’s, you know, less than 1%. That’s top line revenue. And some of those are big brands, Nike and Adidas and you know, big, big companies that we all know.
So when you narrow that down to people sitting in their underwear, punching away on their computer, trying to make money from home, it’s a lot less, but there’s still enough people that it’s a good business.
And it’s even if you can do six figures a year, you know, you can still if you got the right margins, you can still make a nice living, you know, not everybody needs to be a millionaire.
And that’s where a lot of people lose sight of they all think I got to make as much money as possible.
And sometimes that’s not what makes you happy. You need to make enough to live the lifestyle you want to live and sometimes selling a couple hundred thousand dollars a year on Amazon is all it takes, you know, if you get the right margins, and you can eke out a good living that makes you comfortable.
Key Components to Build a Business in Amazon
Okay, so let’s talk a little bit about building an Amazon business the right way. And as you say, there’s lots of components to even do keyword research.
You’re going to find the product, your list the product, your Amazon PPC.
So what would say like, let’s say our listeners who haven’t kind of dabbled at all with starting on Amazon, what would you say is the right way to build that business.
There’s four key components really to selling on Amazon that you have to master or you have to have partners or someone on your team that’s mastering these and the first one is product selection.
So you really have to know all the money starts with the product you choose, and it doesn’t have to be the best product in the world, it has to have a product that has demand on Amazon.
A lot of people think when they start on Amazon, well, I’m gonna put up a great product and make the better mousetrap.
And then I’ll go out and send Facebook traffic to it, I’ll go send YouTube traffic or Pinterest traffic. And that’s all great.
But that’s not really going to help you sell on Amazon unless you have some sort of fad or something that just just catches a trend or something.
The reality is you need to know how to mine the data that’s already on Amazon, it’s if you can know how to use the tools like Helium 10, or some of the other ones that are out there to actually mine that data to see what are people typing in what keywords?
Are they typing? What are they actually buying off of that? And where can you compete? Where can you go in and where is there an opportunity when it’s not saturated?
There’s not 100 guys already with 1000 reviews, they’re selling that the second one is you got to know how to create a good listing, got to know how to do photography and video and write good copy and convince people that your product is the one they want to buy.
And the third one is you need to know how to get traffic to that listing by either using Amazon’s internal PPC system or driving some outside traffic.
And it’s basically a rinse and repeat. And most people that look at Amazon, they see these numbers as well, I want to start an Amazon business and I’m working on another business.
Now I’m working on another company now when can I quit, I tell people, most people, unless you’ve got a lot of money saved away, don’t plan on quitting your current job for at least a year, if you’re going to start an Amazon business, because really, it’s about a four year process to actually create a true Amazon business, you can do it faster, if you have a lot of money, you can do it.
I have a company that just started in June of this year. And we’re already done 1.4 million in sales in the first three months. But that’s not the norm.
And I have a lot of experience. And we came to that with a lot of money.
Kevin’s 4 Year Process in Amazon
But so it’s really a four year process.
So the first year you’re kind of learning, you’re learning all this new terminology and all this new ways of doing things and how to order and how to find keywords and how to manage inventory and all that kind of stuff.
The second year typically is more of an optimization here.
And that first year is something that you launch, it may not work, your first product that you choose, you may put up on Amazon, it’s just a dud, you know, just you think it’s your little baby and you’ve made it great, but just it just doesn’t sell. It’s just not in demand, there’s too much competition.
So you can treat that as a learning experience.
And then you come back with another one. And a lot of the most successful people on Amazon, that’s what they’ve done.
So the second year, you’re optimizing that maybe you’re extending outs, what you’ve done, you had a hit product, the baby product, and you’re like let’s add some more baby products to this or in the third year, you’re where the real it you’re preparing to sell because where the real money is made in this business and selling on Amazon is not actually running the day to day and selling your products.
The money is made when you sell the actual business.
And there’s a whole cottage industry that’s popped up that of investment firms and companies.
There’s one that’s called Protacio, that’s like a billion dollar company.
And they specialize in buying Amazon businesses. So someone like me and you Atlanta that create a business and maybe only have five products, but we’ve gotten it to, you know, say a million dollars in sales after a couple years gross top line sales.
But we just can’t take any further. Because either we don’t have the time or we don’t have the money or the resources. But we’ve proven that this thing is in demand and works, they’ll come in and buy that from you.
And so they’ll come in and pay you see our little Million Dollar Baby top line is thrown off $250,000 a year in profit. It’s because you want to be in that 20 to 25% profit range if you can sell on Amazon.
But most likely, we haven’t been able to take that money out and live on that most likely quarter of a million dollars.
We’ve had to reinvest it because we got to buy more inventory. We’re constantly robbing Peter to pay Paul, maybe we skim some off of that, you know, 50, 60 70,000, but we really haven’t paid ourselves.
So they’ll come in, they say well on paper here you get $250,000 profit, we’ll pay you a multiple that have anywhere from two to four x.
So they’ll cut you a check for 500 to $700,000.
Take that product and they’ll put it into their portfolio and they got a huge team and they just add it and then they have the capacity and the financial means to blow it up.
Maybe it was because we were only selling to Amazon US.
They’ll put it in Amazon Australia, Amazon Singapore, Amazon Europe, Amazon Japan, because they can afford to do that whereas you and I can’t have the infrastructure.
So that’s where a lot of the money is made. And there’s people literally becoming millionaires by doing that.
And so that’s what I tell most people is build it to sell it. And so the third year you’re kind of optimizing for the sale, you’re kind of like cutting some expenses, cutting some of the fat getting, getting your profits as high as they can be.
And then the fourth year you’re selling and I’ve got friends you know, one of my friends is a husband and wife. They have three kids and they started in 2014 and Their first year was $100,000.
Their second year was about 800,000. By the third year by 2016, they were up to about two and a half million dollars in total top line gross sales on Amazon.
He never quit his job, because he had the insurance and everything, she was a stay at home mother.
And she was designing some of the baby, they’re like baby bibs and different things, placemats and stuff.
And they sold that for 4 million bucks and 2017 they took some of that money and put it away to pay for the kids’ education, you know, put some in savings when had a $5,000, you know, meal or trip or whatever, just you know, it splurge a little bit to reward themselves.
And then they took, I don’t know the exact number but probably a couple hundred thousand of that and started again, and started a whole nother instead of baby, they started a whole nother category.
Now they’re about to sell that for $11 million.
And so it’s you can work in, turn it like that and really make something if you do if you approach it right.
And because the second time around, they knew what they’re doing, they could start at a hook, huge, quick, huge Head Start over the previous time, they had the money to really go out at heart and not have to build it up.
Assess the Demand Before Entering The Market
Okay, so let’s start with your three step process.
Ultimately, it’s all about product selection and, and for products that are in demand.
As I understand it, Amazon is really actually a search engine essentially. And so that keeps you knowing, understanding the keyword research behind Amazon is important in assessing that demand.
Are there certain criteria that you look for, in assessing that demand before you look to sort of enter in a market.
Yeah, there is I mean, I use there’s two places that you can was number of places, there’s two main place you can get that data one is from Amazon themselves, they have something called Brand Analytics, which is they will tell you the top 1000 most sorry, 1 million most searched for words on Amazon, do they just give you a rank.
They’ll just say okay. EarPods is the number one most searched for word hand sanitizers, number two, most search for word, you know, whatever broomstick is the number 2600 will search for all the way down to 1 million, but they don’t tell you how many people are searching, it’s just popular rank, then where you can get an idea of the actual numbers is by using third party tools that scrape Amazon tools like Helium 10.
There’s also others out there, but Helium 10 is one that I use.
And that tool uses the BSR bestseller rank that’s posted on every product on Amazon that that kind of tells you how well that product is doing within a category.
And they figured out algorithms that okay, if it has this rank and this rank, it’s probably selling this mini so they it’s not an exact science, but it’s close enough. And so you can actually use these tools.
And as I’m searching on Amazon, I’m using like the Chrome web browser, I have a little plugin that will pop up and I can type in a broomstick.
And it’ll show me all the results that come back for the broomstick and then it will actually show me what each one of those is estimated to be selling.
So I can see the estimated sales in dollars and in units of every single one is how many reviews they have and so on and then I can I can take a look at that and it’s like this are an opportunity here are there enough sales and maybe some of the top sellers have some bad reviews, their star rating is a three and a half so then I can take a look at that and go go read some of those bad reviews.
And see if there’s something I can fix. Everybody’s saying the broom handle is a I don’t know it’s slippery.
So if I come out with a broom handle that has a little holder on it that keeps your hand from slipping I’m just making stuff up then maybe I can compete and I can go in and actually take some of the sales away from these guys by making a better product cuz I know the demand is there and I see an opportunity and then what you can do is take these tools will also do what’s called a Reverse Asin Search.
Well they will figure out all this other keywords that this product is making sales on so my broomstick probably makes you know people are typing the word broomstick, some people are then buying the broomstick.
But a lot of times they might not be buying off of that keyword they might be buying off of dustpan with a broom attached or they might be buying off of some other keyword. And then it will tell you these are all the keywords that most likely are this product is making sales from and what they estimate are and you can do the math and you can see if there’s an opportunity for you to jump in and maybe the word broomstick is not one where you can compete because all the results on that are are too competitive but some other broomstick for left broomsticks for left handed people is a keyword where no one’s focusing on that and you can niche down and you can like look, there’s 2000 people searching for broomstick with, for left handers.
And none of these are made for left handers. They’re all made for right handers.
So if I come up with a left handed one, I can add those 2000 people, typically between five and 50% of them I’m going to buy on Amazon depending on the keyword.
So you know there might be 1000 And sales just on that one keyword that I might be able to capture if I have that product. And so that’s kind of a really high level overview of kind of how that works.
Okay, what about the fact that I’m familiar with some of the teachings of amazing calm and some of the other courses? I mean, to me, it feels like they’re all teaching the same thing. Basically, sell something that’s small, that fits in an envelope that goes like, what about the fact that, do you think it’s worth zigging when others zagging in that respect?
Yes, Absolutely. Because that’s what exactly you’re exactly right.
They teach you to stay away from these certain categories, because there’s electrical products like sub items that need to fit in a shoe box that you can airfreight it over needs to be under this amount of pounds, needs to be under this.
The problem is that’s where everybody is, because that’s what they are teaching and other teachers parrot that, that means everybody’s looking for the same thing.
You know, a lot of times if you’re but those are the reason they teach that is because those are easier. If people want it easy, they don’t want to work a lot of times.
They want what is the easiest thing I can do with the least friction. And those are the types of things that are but those opportunities are a lot fewer now than they used to be.
So you really need to Zig when others are zagging or zag when others are zigging.
And so and find things outside of that. So that things that might be heavier, are a little bit more of a trouble.
And that scares some people, they just, they either don’t have the financial resources to do that.
I mean, look, you see a lot of people on Amazon, they focus on BSR. It’s like a vanity metric. What’s my BSR? How well am I selling, it’s not about how well you sell, it’s about how much money you make, you know, it’s at the end of the day.
I could be selling 100 broomsticks a month, and making $2 on every one of those because there’s I mean, 100 broomsticks a day, sorry, I’m making $2 on every single one of those.
Because there’s so much competition, I’m always fighting off competitors or having to lower my price.
Or I can go find, you know, something else, you know, I don’t know, dorm room refrigerator that’s big and doesn’t it’s, it’s not small, and sell five of those a day and make $100 on each one of them and not have near the competition.
But it’s gonna take a little bit more money, a little bit more hassle to sell that because it’s a whole different logistics and a whole different inventory investment. And that’s, that’s, that’s something that’s super important.
Yeah, interesting. So are there certain categories that you would avoid? base a letter is everything kind of on the table?
No, everything to me, everything’s on the table. I mean, there’s certain categories that are harder, like supplements or pets, for example, those are just more competition, they add cost on Amazon to run the internal ad system on Amazon’s a little bit higher.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. It’s wherever the opportunity is, it’s fine to go. But there are some that are a little more difficult.
So when you say wherever the opportunity is, that is where there is demand. And B there’s not the same people selling the same product with a whole thousands of reviews.
Right? I mean, I look at Amazon, I mean, the beautiful thing about Amazon, you could go out and create your Shopify or WooCommerce site or something.
But you have to drive all the traffic, you got to go out and do press releases, do YouTube ads, do Facebook, do Pinterest, do Instagram, whatever and get the eyeballs there. Amazon already has the eyeballs.
So I’m over the opinion, you should start on Amazon.
And you can prove that you have a decent product that people want by starting on Amazon, you can work the bugs out of the system, because you’re gonna get some reviews, get some feedback, and Amazon has the traffic.
And so then do everything you can on Amazon to maximize that traffic.
I mean, there’s something like 55% of the e commerce sales in the United States, you know, direct to consumer, it’s crazy. So maximize that.
And then worry about going and building your Shopify site and get that extra, get the low hanging fruit first, and then go after the stuff that’s a little bit harder and you’ll know better. What’s gonna work.
How Getting Traffic In Your Listing Works
Okay, so let’s talk about like, let’s say somebody found a product that they want to, they want to sell. they’ve written a great listing, they’ve got great photos, they’ve got a good listing. Now let’s talk traffic really. So what are your thoughts on do you have to do a product launch or is by merely creating your listing enough to get Amazon to send you traffic?
It depends on the competitiveness of the listing. So in some cases, you know, if it’s a broom, a broom for left handers, and there’s only two other rooms for left handers, it’s already got 2000 searches a month, you could probably just put that product up there and start generating some sales.
But most products, you can’t do that you’re going to have to do what’s called a product launch.
And what a lot of people try to do and what a lot of these guys teach is go out and build a YouTube audience go and build a Facebook audience and that stuff is as you know, takes is there’s a science to that and getting the right kind of people and you might build an audience on Facebook have 1000 people that love dogs, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to buy your dog bowl when you come out of the dog well, so there’s a science to that and a lot of people don’t understand that they think I’m gonna go build an audience on Facebook, and that’s going to help me sell my Amazon product.
And usually that’s not the case, or it’s not enough, you get a couple sales, but you need to get a lot of sales because on Amazon, if you’re not on page one of the keywords that you’re normally, when you find a product that you can sell, there’s going to be anywhere from 20 to a couple thousand keywords that might be relevant to that product, you’re gonna have to zero in on like, where are the ones that I can actually compete. And usually that’s between 5 and 15.
And so you’re gonna have, those are the keywords that you’re going to be really focused on, we’ll take sales off all the others, but that’s where you’re gonna be really focused on because that’s what’s driving most of the sales.
And so those keywords if you’re not on page one, when someone types one of those keywords in you basically don’t exist on Amazon, right, very few people go to page two, or page three, and you really need to be in the top half of page one.
So in order to get into the top half of page one, you’ve got to juice the system, you got to juice the algorithm on Amazon, by driving sales.
And this is different than on something like Google, if I’m, if I’m running ads on Google, and AdWords and trying to drive into my Shopify store, those ads need to be profitable, I’m doing unless I have something that I’m that’s a recurring revenue, unless I’m doing you know, it’s a supplement, I can lose money on the first sale because I know I’m going to rebuild them two or three times down the road my lifetime value.
But in most cases on Google, if you got to whatever, you got to make a profit on that ad spend on every directly on every sale, on Facebook to but on Amazon is not the case.
And that was a lot of times you can actually lose money by on your ads, when you first start in my one of my cases, we lost $100,000 the first month and a half on ad spend.
Because we knew if we did that, we would rise on the page of what’s called organic listings on Amazon where there’s no add, they’re not add, they don’t say sponsor next to them. They’re just naturally there.
It’s kind of like being in the Google index, you know, below the ads, you know, first or second listing or whatever, you’re there organically.
And that’s where most of the sales come 70 to 80% of the sales, if you can get into those positions by propping up the ad spend.
That’s where you make all your money.
And so you’ll you’ll spend heavily on ads typically in the beginning, and then what most people as part of a product launch and then most people are that also tells you when you’re spending on those ads that gives you that confirms your research, did I pick the right keywords are people these 10 or five or 15 keywords that I’ve chosen?
Are those the right ones that people are actually buying off? And sometimes they’re not, you’re like, Oh my god, I missed this other keyword over here.
Because you’ll look at your reports and you’re gonna change your focus a little bit.
Change your listing…
Change your title and change your ad spend focus or maybe and then the other thing that most people do is you need to get some, some buys.
So what a lot of people do is what’s called a search, find buy or rebate.
So the most popular method right now is to actually use one of these companies that there’s companies that specialize in it, like rebate key, for example, that will have an audience of people that will buy your product at full price. So you tell them look, I want to rank for a broomstick.
So they will tell them to go search for a broomstick on Amazon, look for the one that’s pink and white and you know it says a king product or whatever and buy that one, and send us a proof that you bought it.
And 30 days later, we’ll send you your money back, we’ll send you a check in the mail as a rebate.
Other people do PayPal it depends, but it’s uh, what that does is it looks natural to the Amazon system.
And it’s, it looks like someone searched for that and bought it. And if you get enough of those, and these software tools, we’ll give an estimate of how many of those you need to get, then you can rise up the ranks, it’d be on page one.
And then once you get on page one, then you have to hope that once that’s all those rebates stop, that real people that really want your product are really willing to pay full price for it. Otherwise, you can drop off page one and that happens to a lot of people because they haven’t done their homework right?
Or their product comes back with bad reviews or there’s a whole bunch of reasons. Right?
But that’s the two most common and then the third one that people do is they send outside traffic from Facebook or Google or Pinterest but in most cases, unless you know what you’re doing there that’s really not going to help too much.
Right. So really just doing Amazon PPC
Yes Amazon PPC as far as your traffic initial traffic is because Amazon just they have they have you know, there’s millions and millions of visitors every every day in the US you know, Australia Amazon, Australia is a little bit different animal.
It’s not quite what it is in the US but in the US and Europe.
They’re just juggernauts and there’s just the traffic, the eyeballs already there. You just got to know how I can get them to my listing, and that’s why the PPC and PPC are not just what’s called sponsored brands.
We have a little text listing or picture shows up and sponsored but Amazon now has video you can run video videos are very effective.
You can run stuff to your storefront you can have a little mini storefront on Amazon As to their and Amazon will give you some demographic information.
And then I, you know, one of my products, I was surprised at the age, I thought all of our ads were created for like a 30 to 45 year old age group. And I was finding that most of the buyers were over 60.
And I’m like, our whole advertising strategy is, is this targeted. So we came in and changed some of our ads, some of our videos, some of our copy, to appeal more to that age group and our sales went up.
But Amazon will give you some of that information if you’re a real brand. And then you can do what’s called like DSP, which is Amazon’s program that allows you to target off of Amazon.
So someone that looks at your, your listing, and doesn’t buy or someone that maybe buys your competitor’s listing, or maybe a complementary product, if I’m selling Apple phone cases, you can target people who bought an an apple charger, or an apple watch or something that are likely and you can then have to the DSP program, have those ads show up all over the internet, you know, just on on bbc.com, and CNN and wherever these guys are going and bring them back.
So there’s a whole trove of ways to drive traffic on Amazon.
Okay, Wow, amazing. Is the reason that you don’t recommend outside traffic to your Amazon listing, because people aren’t really good at traffic.
But let’s say you are really good at traffic. You know, would you do Amazon search? I mean, Google search ads, the people who typed in, let’s say, you know, broomstick, and then Amazon and send them to your listing?
Yeah, I would do that. If you’re good at that. Yeah, there’s not, it’s not gonna hurt. And especially if those links have keywords embedded in them, you don’t want to just send them there just for the sake of making a sale off of Google, you need to have what’s called a two step URL.
If you go to like helium10.com/gems, they have a whole list of these different types of URLs that will give you a little bit of ranking juice on Amazon.
So there’s one called a two step URL on asen, fieldays URL that are really good. And so if you’re going to drive that traffic, have it have it, keep some keywords embedded in it. So it kind of helps the algorithm Amazon make you relevant for those keywords.
Maximize The Market You Started In
Right. Okay. What about launching in other marketplaces, so, you know, let’s say you think or, you know, it’s, I’m in Australia, I want to launch an Amazon us or vice versa, you’re in Amazon, us and you want to launch in other marketplaces, do you? Do you recommend doing that if you’ve got a product that’s working?
I wouldn’t maximize the market, you start at most, a lot of people start in the US. But once you’ve maximized and learn the market that you’ve started in, then yeah, if you have the funds, I mean, it’s like creating a whole new business, because you got whole new inventory, a whole new cash flow issues to expand somewhere else.
So you have to factor that in. But yeah, it’s definitely worth it. Because once you’ve learned one of the Amazon marketplaces, you know, you know, how they all work.
I mean, there’s slight nuances between them and some features in one that aren’t the other, but at least you know how the backbone works.
And then it’s just more customizing your product for those other marketplaces like localizing it into their language and their way of describing things.
And not everything translates. I mean, something that sells well in the US might be a dud in Japan. No Amazon, and you know, just the advice versus something that’s super competitive in the US and you’re like, man, I just I love this product.
But there’s just too many people selling us. You look at Amazon, Germany, and like, three guys like holy cow, I can go over here and do it. So yeah, that’s the beauty about this is you don’t have to sell where you live.
Because of FBA, you can pray and third party logistics companies can pretty much sell wherever you want sitting from your house.
How Much You Need to Start in Amazon to Get a Good Return
Yeah, amazing. What would you say? I’m sure people are thinking, they say I want to give this a shot, like in 2020? Like, how much money do you theoretically need to start and do it properly?
To do it properly? You need about 50 to 100 grand.
Can you do it for a lot less? Yes, you could start with 1000 bucks or 5000 bucks, I wouldn’t start with it, I would not personally recommend it, I may start with less than 5000 Yeah, it’s just you just gotta understand it’s gonna be a slower build.
You can do it. And you can build, it just depends on what your goals are. If you’re, if your goals are to quit your job, in a year, starting at five with $5,000, you might not be able to, because it’s all about ROI return on investment.
I mean, the beautiful thing about Amazon if you take $5,000 and you invested that, say in the stock market in the US, and you put that in a great mutual fund with a good return, when the best performing in the last several years, on average, that 5000 is going to turn into about $7200 or $7300 in three years, on average, you know the return on that.
So that’s a good return for most people, you know, almost almost 50% after three years like that’s, you know, that’s a good investment on Amazon that same 5000 if you do it right can turn into about 52,000.
If you have certain certain characteristics on that, or you have at least a 20% profit margin, you have, you’re turning your inventory over every three months, you’re not buying inventory once a year and selling it, you’re, you’re turning the cash flow, there’s a few other things, but they’re basic.
So the opportunity to grow is faster. But if you start with 5000, you might be able to get to 50,000. But if you start with 50,000, you might be able to get to two and a half million. So that’s why more is better.
But it doesn’t take more to be successful.
I understand. So with the 50,000, you just buy one product line, or you buy multiple products and testing them?
Well, if you have 50,000.
In this, if you’ve never done this before, if e commerce is relatively new to you, or selling products, I would not spend all that money on one product, I would start with something that’s 10 or 20,000 of that and learn because likely your first product, you’re gonna make a lot of mistakes, either in the sourcing, or in the selling or something, you can learn a lot.
So don’t burn it all on one, but start with one that’s a little bit easier, get your feet wet, and then go hog wild Once you’re comfortable.
Understand, um, so I guess in your opinion in, you know, 2020 I mean that this is a very, very saturated business model and market to be in, do you think it’s still a viable business model for people to enjoy?
It’s better than ever.
It’s not easier than ever. It was easier five years ago, when amazing was coming out.
And people were getting rich pretty quickly. But the opportunity right now is actually better, the tools are better, the data is better, it’s less of a shot in the dark or throwing darts against the wall.
You can, you just gotta know how to do it. And the economic growth of e commerce is ridiculous.
I mean, Amazon’s doubled in the last two years and now with the Coronavirus, I think they sales are up 44% this year, and it’s just going to continue to climb, you know, people, a lot of people that weren’t buying e-commerce before, weren’t comfortable with it, are now doing it.
And that’s and more and more people are buying more. So it, the numbers just keep going up.
So even if you don’t have a home run, you know, in the old days, you want a product that’s under like 1000 BSR, on Amazon, one of the top thousand bestsellers in a category.
And that’s where you can make your money now, because it’s grown so much you could have, be in the top 5000 and still make a really good living, because it’s just so big and so vast.
So the opportunity No, is it more that some categories are very saturated. But if you differentiate the products, you can still win. If you and if you have the money and the knowledge to do it, you can still win in those categories. So it’s not going away. And it’s better than ever.
Tips for the People Who Wanted to Start Out in Amazon
Yeah, interesting. Do you have any sort of parting tips that you could give the people before we sort of finish off if someone’s considering doing this.
If you’re considering doing a song on Amazon, I mean, learn as much as you can start listening to podcasts. They’re focused on Amazon sellers, you know, go out there and try.
There’s lots of paid courses and there’ve been some that are free, you know, I, I have one as part of helium 10 software that I partnered with them that they give it for free. It’s like a 50 hour course for free.
And so that, that type of thing, do that just make sure to learn as much as you can listen to podcasts, watch some YouTube, make sure their recent stuff that you know, this YouTube video is two years old, whatever they’re saying may not be relevant anymore.
And so you got to make sure that stuff is recent, that anybody you listen to, make sure they actually are still selling on Amazon.
There’s a lot of people that, like you said, they’re in that 98% that failed, they started selling on Amazon, and they just couldn’t make it work. Because they weren’t good business people a lot of times are, for whatever reason, they put out a bad product.
And they’re like, well, now I need to pay some bills. How can I do it? Well, I know how to do this Amazon thing. Now let me create a YouTube channel and teach others how to do it.
And they really don’t know what they’re doing. So you have to be careful about that. But listen to podcasts, learn as much as you can read some blogs and then give it a go.
Learn More About Kevin King
Awesome. Thank you so much for taking time out of your day. I know it’s not the most pleasant hour of the day for you. It’s like sort of quite late in your night.
So I really appreciate it.
And where can people find out a bit more information may be about your course that you mentioned or more information about you before we finish up?
Yeah, if you go to I think FreedomTicket.com or Helium10.com you can see stuff, the course is called the Freedom Ticket.
Or you can find me on Facebook. Just look up Kevin King on Facebook, and you can find me there.
Awesome. Well, thank you so much for coming on sharing your knowledge. I know I’ve personally taken a whole page note. So thank you so much. And yeah, I’ll catch you around.
Great! Thanks. pleasure being here. Take care!