The Fast-Track Way To Selling On Amazon With Greg Cassar
In the podcast:
03:51 – Why would you want to sell on Amazon?
05:44 – Greg’s journey to Amazon
14:14 – FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon)
15:55 – Authority blog in a market
17:00 – Basic things you need to get started
24:27 – ACoS (Advertising Cost of Sale)
Greg Cassar discussed how he fast-tracked his way to success with Amazon FBA. He discusses how to get started and also how to optimise an existing listing (hint: how to turn your listing from good to great).
Welcome back to the Talking Web Marketing podcast with myself Ilana Wechsler. This is a show where we reveal the best tips tricks and tactics to increasing your website traffic and then converting that traffic into sales. We also discuss what’s working right now in the ever changing world of web marketing so you can apply it to your business.
Ilana: Welcome back to another episode of Talking Web Marketing. I’m your host Ilana Wechsler and today I’m interviewing an interesting guy under the name of Greg Cassar. So for our Aussie listeners you may have heard of Greg before because he runs a internet marketing event called The Collective which is also an internet marketing coaching program.
But that’s not the reason I got Greg on today’s episode. I’ve invited Greg to come and talk about his ventures in Amazon so he’s done a number of different things. He actually was like we, who used to have a PPC agency and then of course that he started to get into different areas of internet marketing and his most recent venture is in Amazon so I’ve asked Greg to join us today to talk about his fast track way that he launched his Amazon products how he has managed to scale his Amazon products and also about the Amazon PPC platform that he uses to scale his ads as well.
So if you’re dabbling with Amazon or even if you’ve never even started you will no doubt get a lot of value from this episode. So let’s not waste any more time let’s just get stuck straight in. So welcome to today’s episode Greg Cassar.
Greg: Hey thanks for having me.
Ilana: It’s awesome to have you here. Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to come and talk to me.
Greg: No no problems at all. When we recently met in person in the US and he had often had some fun and there was no way I was ever going to talk back when you know when you’ve invited me, you’re great fun and very knowledgeable as well.
Ilana: You’re very kind. Thank you. So in our discussions at traffic and conversion recently we went up for dinner and you were talking to me about your adventures on Amazon and it obviously really interested me which is why I’ve got you here today to talk about your experience with Amazon and you know your success with it in a really really short period of time and you were telling me that you’ve actually created an amazing lifestyle around your Amazon business.
So I am sure our listeners today will be really interested in what you’re going to share with us today and hopefully we can cover that kind of ventures that you’re up to at the moment.
Greg: Yeah sounds good and I think you know that lifestyle design definitely is very important. What stage of life I’m at now, so I’m 42 and I’ve got kids from primary school and intern high school.
So really sort of valuing more time with family and experiences and that kind of thing. I have an awesome business with The Collective Coaching Mastermind so that’s really really good. I’ve got nothing to complain about but we built this hobby business on the side and it just sort of really scaled very very fast and it represents just another way of making great lifestyle.
I think if I had to start all over again what we’re going to talk about today is exactly what I would do, I’m sort of 15 or so years into the journey and learn traditional direct response and like you Ilana background in Google and Facebook traffic and all that kind of stuff.
Why Would You Sell on Amazon?
But what I have seen is I’m just, because Amazon has the buyers like me so approximately 60% of all transactions in the online world in the U.S. happen on Amazon.com. So there’s this millions of millions of people turning up there ready to buy and their credit cards are already registered and their shipping address is already registered and all that kind of stuff.
So while it’s is equally as powerful and even better advertising platforms that we could talk about them they’re not as amazing on Amazon as they are on Facebook and Google but people they’re very basic but people just turning up ready to buy and that’s what I love about that.
Ilana: Yeah. And I guess you touch on the first question that I was going to ask you which is why would somebody be interested in selling their products on Amazon and you’ve absolutely nailed it in their buyers. People don’t go there to browse and look at their friends feel like they do on Facebook. You go to Amazon buy.
Greg: Yeah great. And also Amazon can make it so easy for you. What I’m really enjoying about the lifestyle. Amazon has this thing called FBA Fulfillment by Amazon that in the US and they have it in Europe and all over the place they’re just starting in Australia now.
But what that means is you can send your stock into Amazon and then they will pack it and ship it for you. And so that whole concept is basically called a 3 year old 3rd party logistics provider that allows you to create that lifestyle because I’ve had businesses before and like we’ve even created a business for our kids where we sell safari suits and they every time as far as it comes and the kids pack it up and ship it out.
But we’re just teaching them business to very manual but that’s fine you know for the kids but for us because we deal in such volumes. It’s great to have Amazon taken care of that we know it’s going to say they’re going to charge us $5 or $6 or whatever for each order they ship out but we don’t have to think about it they even handle refund the customer questions and that kind of stuff. So it’s just be really really great from our lifestyle design point of view as well as the buyers and PPC.
Greg’s journey to Amazon
Ilana: We will get into all that. But you know I’m always interested in people’s journey and it’s process. Do you want to kind of explain a little bit about the process you took to starting out and I guess in sort of in the light of if you had to start from scratch now what would you say is the best way to kind of get started?
Greg: I definitely did it the fast track Ilana and I’ll explain why but before that I’d be messing around with my own good products and stuff. So with me look at this new business and it was really like a hobby business that we built in the US that we learned over the years by working the collective and when we had the agency.
We got to work with like 300 different businesses or so and so we figured out what markets we like and what ones we don’t and what we’re good at and what we’re not and that kind of thing. So there’s a lot of learnings but we built and is on fairly quick but to be fair we didn’t start with that I’m far from a newbie it would be fair to say.
And then the structure that we built in the US was not just Amazon so we’re dealing with the End in Mind because Amazon can’t be a one legged tool. And then they can shut you down for any reason I don’t think they’ll shut us down. But you just don’t really want to have all your eggs in one basket. So we’re building a proper authority blog. We’ve got a content team who’s building that out and building up the social and that kind of stuff would go to the common store as well although we’ve just made a decision to just not pour the traffic into it but to pour the traffic in Amazon because it’s profitable, quicker you know and then we’ve also got social and email.
So that’s like the overall structure and the other thing was we chose and what I’m not going to go into necessarily specifics about my marketed product because I’ve been ripped off several times before a lot of people do but I’m going to teach the concepts than this is the exact marketing Greg ‘ s doing so I should do that kind of thing.
So we were building an overall structure. We also learned to go from mass market rather than a niche. I mean when I first got started in marketing and digital marketing people were saying oh you’ve got to find your own niche and I kind of which is true but what we’ve found is if you’re a good marketer go into a mass market it just allows you to hit a much much bigger audience and that kind of stuff.
So I think the hard luck initially with Amazon is really finding your market then from there coming up once you’ve found your market that you’re really passionate about you’re knowledgeable and you want to serve and you genuinely want to help them which is why we have the authority blog is because we also question you how can we help the most to our market and just become a source of authority or a source of truth in that space. Once you’ve found your market and you start to build some of those assets you’re going to have to start the blog.
FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon)
Yeah they really coming up with winning products and so from a winning product point of view not I wouldn’t say I’m an expert at this one piece like I think there’s other people who could teach this one piece better but some of my learnings were like don’t do oversize products so I imported a product from China myself which was an oversized product and then I got Amazon FBA Fulfillment by Amazon fees of $30.
So that was like ridiculous because it basically killed the profitability of every product that I sold. So you want smaller lighter products and you also really don’t want anything. Some people do it well but I personally avoid anything below $20. I think personally between $20 and $100 is a great sweet spot.
You know from a price point of view I also think choosing products that are already on that customer’s journey. So what are the things that they’re already buying. But then what can you do that’s you know unique and how you create your own brand and then how we learned about this stuff. And like my previous attempts at Amazon was I went to Alibaba and I found products that I really liked in the market and then we did branding.
So we did product sampling we got some samples, we checked them out though good. And then we had to figure out you know what quality standards they needed to meet. We used to like an IP lawyer and that kind of stuff to figure out what quality standards they needed to make for the countries that I was importing into. In this case it was us. I mean we created a brand and registered trademark for the brand that kind of stuff and then yeah basically imported it use as someone called a freight forwarder who will bring in those products for you.
This is what I call kind of the hard way because there’s a lot of learnings in that you’ve got to get something off the ground from scratch that kind of thing. What I did which was the fast track and really what it did in the last six months enabled us to scale so fast was I was actually mastermind, the blue ribbon mastermind and one of the things he didn’t teach it but you know learning by just being around people.
So he’s ecommerce store Boom by Cindy Joseph and that wasn’t like a brand he created from scratch. He partnered with someone who already had some good things going on and so then I realized well I don’t have to wear every single hat. You know I’m an awesome marketer. A some a black belt at marketing. What about a partnering with someone who was a black belt e r product and someone who was a black belt. And you know within my existing market.
And so what I did was we met some guys through the mastermind who got an introduction to an event I was at and then sort of fired up our relationship and we said hey you know are we doing really really good at this in this case. Our business partners were selling into Walmart just amazing guys really really good values and ethics. And so my gut you know when you’re doing a Javy with someone a joint venture with someone you really got to trust you you have to work with these people.
You know when things go right, when things go wrong and I think in my gut feel on these two gentlemen was, was amazing and they were already doing really good on the product side I said that but we were really good at the marketing side and said you know you got a basic Amazon listings you know you got things you don’t really have any sales what about if we work together and we scaled that up and then what where we got to eventually was we gave them a percentage of our e-commerce story on our blog and our email list and they gave us a percentage of the Amazon presence and so it’s like yeah effectively like a kind of rain.
So now we two hopes thanks to what their business was to ours and we’ve just got a joint venture agreement between us and we go all going in one direction and then so from there that was what I called the fast track because they already had some amazing products. They already had some brand equity, they get some runs on the board and the marketplace kind of already knew about their brand and then really what it came down to was now okay well we’ve got these assets these physical products how do we make them rank.
And really that was about starting with Okay well just the basics of SEO Search Engine Optimization on Amazon and also conversion optimization on Amazon. So just starting with things like okay well what it let’s do keyword research okay it sounds like boring but important right. So keyword research what people are actually searching for and then are those terms being used in the title, are they being used in the description, are the product images being optimized so that you know that kind of stuff.
So then we rewrote all the headlines and then we rewrote all the bullet descriptions and these little tricks like when you write bullets you build up to five bullets in your listings and you can add caps for the first like couple words of the bullet so that people can skim read it you know that kind of stuff and then we rewrote descriptions and then where they had one image we build them out with you know five to nine images you know that kind of that kind of things wherever possible we added videos to the listing so all of a sudden these things just grew on their own because they were getting found more organically and they were also the website we were using emotional sales copy to sell because okay marketers sell we like features you know the features about the product.
Good marketers sell with the benefits of those features bring in an excellent market then sell based on you know what is the emotion that those are benefits. So we brought a lot of that sort of stuff to the table and once we had those sorts of things in place we also converted all the listings. So where they were doing a lot of shipping themselves and then so we converted the listings to Amazon FBA to get fulfilled by Amazon which meant we then had to then send stock into Amazon.
So why this is also important obviously from a lifestyle point of view, you don’t ship everything out but it also helps with your ranking, it helps you to get found more because Amazon actually they will give one of their ranking algorithms is whether or not using FBA because they want to make money on the shipping and or luck kind of stuff. So we yeah we kind of got those pieces in place and that was what we call like the essentials and we did that for the US. Any questions on that before we get into like how we go from there.
Ilana: So you mentioned that you had an existing blog database so you were already in the market?
Greg: Well we decided this is the mass market that we’re going to serve from this day forward pretty much. This is our long term mass market so we’re still doing stuff with business owners in Australia but like for our international mass market. Yeah. This was the one that we were going to serve and we yeah we already had an authority blog and we’d started doing our content ourselves but we also realize we’re going to be serious about it we needed to put a content team in.
So what we do most people would say that we’re stupid we spend 70 grand a month on building out with a content team, who builds out proper authority blog, and social and all that kind of stuff and so we know we won’t make any money on that over the first six months but long term you can imagine you doing that over 6, 12 months to 3 years all of a sudden you’ve got an authority logons getting a couple hundred thousand organic people a month that’s in the hands of a good marketer that’s power. So and that’s winning the game long term whereas PPC I love pay per click and you know I’ve always been a pay per click guy.
But what I do know is that kind of winter is coming as well so the cost of traffic is continuing to rise and so that means you get more and more difficult for whether e-commerce sellers or everyone really to be profitable and break even on day one everyone wants the Internet to be this cash spewing machine Ilana and it kind of is but and it will definitely is.
But there’s also that aspect we need to start thinking now about how do we plant now and harvest later and be willing to do that not just monetize everything on day one and that’s why we used the authority blog as well as the Amazon. Amazon is cash now probably will be long term but the authority blog in the e-commerce story is that planting now a harvest later.
Authority blog in a market
Ilana: Interesting and I guess that’s relevant for anyone who perhaps isn’t in Amazon but does have some kind of authority blog in a market. Maybe that’s a good addition for them.
Greg: Absolutely. Feature proof yourself. Then you can build out a big authority blog. One thing I learned from Yaro Saraku was a throwaway line for me many years ago and it always stuck with me is if you want to be successful long term you need to build something sticky. You need to build something that people keep coming back to and I was like okay you get it. And I also know I’m really good at PPC pay per click and all that kind of stuff but I’m not amazing at social. The free side of social and I’m not amazing at content writing that kind of thing. I just really find I don’t have the time for it.
So that’s why we’ve got a professional team who are working on that who have track records of building blogs to the millions of site visitors a month and I will just focus on the bits that I am good at which is also why I like to say that fast track. We partnered with a company who is an amazing product and we’re amazing at marketing and the two together it is. Yeah it’s like a one plus one equals three.
Basic things you need to get started
Ilana: Totally and I think you’re right that it’s important to really focus on what your skills are what you bring to the table and not to beat your head against the wall in the areas that you’re weak. In which so many people do you know. They think they’re very happy but in fact you know you stick to your meeting and then you bring other people who are strong in that. So to somebody who is like let’s say complete newbie they don’t have the content blog. What would you say are some of the basics you would need to get started.
Greg: I would say it’s like the first and most important thing is really like your mindset and your education. So old plugging to some of the things that I’ve plugged into in that space. Amazing.com, so those guys did amazing selling machine that courses really pumped out, Amazon millionaires and anything else I think like so getting knowledgeable in that and working a proven system rather than trying to figure it out. I think it makes great sense writing Daniel Moran also has a thing called A Business Builder Boot Camp I would recommend you know like one of those sort of two education parts to get yourself knowledgeable and work a system rather than trying to wing it. I think that a fast track your results.
I used Ryan’s free stuff at amazon.com matching member of amazing.com where they teach you a lot of that stuff so that was kind of like where I learned a lot of them how to type of thing, and then so avoiding common mistakes. Some of it we spoke about like with the oversized products or the too heavy products. I also avoid products that Amazon and Google and Facebook don’t like.
So like for example I used to sell herbal online. Google didn’t like it after a while. Facebook didn’t like it after a while. So just avoiding these big media platforms don’t like what you’re doing then it’s just next and I think also don’t be afraid to say next. So like I fail more times than most people would even try or even think about trying and some people would say you know Greg 15 years in you know that’s not really that great.
But there had a years of the fail, those failures are really just learning and you just got to be willing to step up to the table and like I’d love to say just smash out the park on day one and I certainly have met people like I’ve met people in the US who have gone straight from my college to Amazon to investing and yeah they’ve done that but not that many people and most people you really do have some kind of learning curve.
The good thing is you can’t really test the market relatively, yeah relatively cheaply. I think there’s tools like jungle scout and also a viral launch have a few tools as well that allow you these tools. Now you realize markets much much better. You’re not going blind you can see what’s a supply, what’s a demand, what is this product likely to be selling for know that kind of thing and I think some of them also profit calculator tools as well.
So there’s really no plugging those things in. Once you do get something off the ground then doing everything you can to optimize the like what we’re talking about so so far we’ve just spoken about optimizing the listings and another really really big one is getting reviews happening and there’s a whole bunch of tools that can help you get more reviews because that’s really like consider a letter from Frank Kern which is kind of avoid the square wheels so you want to get wherever possible it’s much much easier to accelerate something with momentum.
So when you’re listing on Amazon initially often your first round of inventory isn’t profitable because you’ve got to do like what’s called a product launch so it means selling a whole bunch of product at a discount to get some good reviews and to get some momentum to get some sales history because if you’ve never sold a thing they don’t really want to put you ranking at the top of Amazon.
So you can use tools like viral launch and there’s another one called Market hustle and that kind of thing. And they’ve got big databases of people that they effectively give vouchers to and stuff so that you can get some reviews. They can’t explicitly ask for buy this product at a discount and you give us reviews now like that’s against Amazon’s terms of service but there’s also a bit of an understanding that it can tell you what they think of it and that kind of stuff. So you really do need to get reviews.
We probably haven’t done enough of that space. Ours has been happy naturally and now we’re really really getting focused on tools that will help us to get more review. So I think once you’ve got the whole out of the whole thing the hobby is getting the market and getting the winning products once you’ve got winning products like scaling it with the things we’re talking about is really really easy.
So scaling that product up and that kind of stuff then throwing fuel on the fire. Like what I call you know sort of more advanced tool. So there’s a thing called enhanced brand listing. So what you need to do is if you own the brand like you’ve registered the trademark and you’ve got your own brand then you can do Amazon brand registry so you can now register your brand to say hey Amazon we’re the original for this brand and then they’ll allow you to do some more cool stuff.
So one of them is enhance brand listing so enhance brand content what it does is on your listing rather than just having a text description. It now allows you to build out visual sales copy so visual sales copy is like an image and text off to the right and just like left right images and text and that kind of stuff. There’s a lot of people learn visually and so lots of it really really makes a difference. Building out that visual sales copy in.
It also allows you to build an Amazon store so you can build your own like a commerce store on Amazon. And that way you can then have like junction boxes which show them your different product range and they can link off to that and that kind of stuff and then you can also get into Amazon pay per click. And Amazon Pay Per Click is really the main type of sponsored product ads in these sponsored product ads basically like I think a lot of your audience a lot of they know Facebook ads and they know Google ads to whatever degrees. I would say Amazon’s advertising is much much simpler but it’s much much more basic than Facebook and Google’s.
And so with these sponsored product ads the most simple form is an auto ad where you just tell it okay here’s my, give it a campaign name choose an auto ad campaign, add an individual queue, say like an individual product. You’ve got a blue and a red one you do each of them individually because what you might find is one of them selling by ads and one’s not. That’s a bit more advanced so basically allowing you to say okay this is the product I want to advertise.
Then Amazon or they’ll come up with the keywords as search terms automatically for you. You decide how much is the budget and you tell them how much you want to bid and then that’s pretty much it. And then you can give it negative keywords as well saying I don’t want to show up for these terms but you can’t actually in this auto campaign you can’t tell what search terms.
And the Amazon or sucking your like your title, and Amazon suck in your price and they’ll suck in your product details and then they’ll start advertising it for you automatically. Amazon is like Google in that I think the prison system applies and you may or may not have only talk about the prison system but the prison system is basically you don’t want to go into prison on day one and really weak and get beaten up or worse and then you’re going to have a bad time the whole time you’re in there, right?
So what you want to do like on Google. You want to bid more per click than you have to actually have to and get a good ranking with your ads and then get a good click through rate. So lots of people clicking through on them and then from there you go off to a good strong start and then you can reduce the amount of your bids over time to get more and more cost effective.
And Amazon did this really cool figure called ACoS which means Advertising Cost of Sale. So say I sold a hundred dollars worth of widgets and my ad cost was twenty dollars that would say that it would have a 20 percent ACoS. So yeah, say that 20 percent of the overall revenue was the cost of the advertising. So it actually gives you this really really good sort of roadmap.
And I aim for like 20 percent or less as far as ACoS and as a general rule it works out. So you do the sponsored product ads and you start with auto and you could do a thing called a keyword search report and it’ll show you basically what they’re effectively what search terms are resulting in sales that kind of thing. Once you start to get a bit of knowledge under your belt then you can move into manual ones and product ads.
And so with manual there’s a whole bunch of Amazon tools out there you can just use the free Google Keyword Tool, Google Keyword Planner. And then I use it like in the ad group mode where you’re searching for your main term it’ll spit out a whole bunch of search terms you get them off into a spreadsheet.
Then you start going through them and saying if someone’s searching for this doesn’t have buying intent meaning are they likely to buy you know. They’re searching for that need not then get rid of it and start building a list of negative keywords and then Amazon depending on which way you use the keyword plan. There’s one group but one mode they’re called adgroup mode and they’ll basically start giving you logical chunks.
So all these search terms are about these logical chunk. Effectively they’re giving you a campaign structure which Google wants and also it actually worked really really well for Amazon too. So then you create new sponsored product campaigns and whatever it was called Big pen that was what you were selling sponsored products manual campaign now and then you could put all you related products together they don’t have to be split out separate.
I know this is a bit geeky for some but then tell us what search terms you want to show up for and it’s like Google that you can do broad, phrase and exact but I basically avoid broad. You just put in the search terms and then click the broad sorry, phrase button I mean, add keywords and put in the search terms click the exact up button and add the search terms and tell how much you want to bid, tell what your budget is, add any negative keywords and off you go.
And what you’ll find is that by having both the auto campaign and the manual campaign your auto campaign will get going faster than the manual campaign. You’ve done a good job on it. Generally scale much much bigger and beyond it. I mean like any good campaign you’ve gonna prove it. So over time so you’ve got a month’s worth of data or two months worth of data you just got to start looking at will that search trend didn’t result in any sales, or that section is too high in ACoS.
So advertising cost of sales so that’s adjusted bid down or how we started off with high bids. So we started at a $51 was our default bid. Now let’s move them down to a $31. Okay now yet we’re still going well now move down to a $11 and you know that kind of thing. So the opportunity of proving it over time and then there’s also another type of advance campaign you can add on which is like these headline search ads.
So effectively it’s like a banner ad that goes over the top of the Amazon search listings and you can put a featured image in there and then you can have three featured products and you can write a headline. So you can do this to your main search terms, you can do this for your main brand terms, keywords whatever but you can also do a few competitors. So you’re a little bit advanced.
If you sell XYZ brand and your main competitor is ACMI. You can actually have a show up so that your banner ads show up over the top in Amazon when someone searching ACMI brand and some of those people will start seeing your stuff. So those headline search ads they really got like a branding and a direct response type components. People have seen you multiple times and you’re doing awareness and then yes some people are going to click and buy and other people are just learning about your brand.
So they kind of got like a bit of both of that. And what I also didn’t talk about was we’re also doing Facebook sort of video ads or we’re doing like conversion ads where we’ve got a video ad showing to our exact target market on Facebook. And what we can see in this case we’re sending to our e-commerce store and it’s kind of like break even you know it’s not setting the world alight but what we can see is referral sales so we’ve got these Facebook ads going or they’re the Instagram video ads we’re about to do YouTube video ads to the exact right target market.
They’re going in Amazon sales are up and you can even see in the comments people saying oh you can get it on Amazon here or we got ours on Amazon and you know that kind of thing. So there’s a direct correlation when we’ve got a Facebook video ads going on Amazon sales are up. And when then not you know then they’re not going at the moment we’ve got a lot of it turned off because we’ve actually got to a different level of problem.
So when you first getting started that’s what a lot of people focus is it’s really like you’ve got a sales and marketing problem you need to get get known in the marketplace, get reviews that kind of stuff. We’re now at the point of scaling issue it’s really not about sales and marketing force anymore. It’s now about how can we feed enough product because Amazon gives you this report like our report last month said we missed out on 166 grand worth of sales last month because we didn’t have enough stock.
So yes, shows you what the potential is. But like I said I got really great business partners and they’re in the process of feeding it more stock in containers because basically we said the whole thing into meltdown where they were sitting in a container thinking that it was going to last for six months and then four weeks later I’m saying hey guys you know we’re just about to run out. And they like, no it can’t be, yeah we are you know.
So those sorts of conversations and if you haven’t cycled like so if you haven’t gone through a full 12 months it’s very very hard to do that capacity planning you know what I mean to see how much we’re growing by an all that kind of stuff. So we’re learning from some of our products evergreen. So they will every month they’re great. And then other of our products just work for summer and other products just work for winter. So got to like a good product mix wherever possible you know we just want more and more of the evergreen stuff and so that it’s all going well and then now we’re looking at how do we scale beyond just doing Amazon USA which was which is incredible.
So what we’re doing is we’re feeding more products so we’re testing more products, we’re feeding more products in Amazon USA. So this takes time obviously you know over 3.6,12 month time period to test more products feed more but so that we’re growing exponentially. What we’re also doing is we’re trying to add a different marketplace every month which sounds kind of like, it sounds kind of crazy and it’s kind of hard to get enough stock for it.
So we’ve now added Amazon Canada and then we’ve now added Amazon Mexico and they’re only small compared to what Amazon US is. But you can see that they’re already getting yeah they’re already getting momentum and they’ve only got tiny little bits of stock in there. So we saw that over the next month or two getting more and more stock in there. And then now all those things that we spoke about along with optimizing the product with things and building out all those ad campaigns building out the Amazon stores and the enhanced product and all that kind of stuff.
I’m now going doing that for Canada now going to Mexico. So I’ve got like this massive master spreadsheet which has what I call our product optimization spreadsheet and there’s a direct correlation the amount of money we made is directly correlated between two things at the moment. One the amount of stock we can feed in to the amount of green boxes that I put on these spreadsheet. So it’s not like all all the different views and then it’s got like a cross right.
Is it because that on Amazon US is it doesn’t have the headline optimize the images optimized in all these things that we spoke about as I change each of those to is a direct correlation with amount of money that we make. So and then the next bit of the spreadsheet gets into. Okay well now let’s do that to Canada, now let’s do that for Mexico and just right this month, we’re working on the UK because by hitting we’re about to launch into five new Amazon marketplaces in Europe over the next five months so we’re trying to hit one a month and you know we may hit it we may miss it but it’s a great goal to have you know as a team but by hitting those five Amazon marketplaces in Europe that actually represents 26 countries across Europe.
So it’s the exact same product as exact same process the exact same listing. Amazon just really gives you a great framework or platform I guess to scale globally. And then once we’ve got Europe done excuse me we’re going to add on, yeah like Australia we’ve also got plans for India, Japan Yeah and China. So that’s kind of like our road map coming up and obviously there’s translation issues and all sorts of stuff along the way I’m not saying that that part is going to be easy but how we’re planning on scaling into the high hundreds of thousands or even millions per month is by feeding it more products in our exact same niche.
Feeding it more marketplaces and optimizing everything so that it builds up like an exponential curve and then at the same time building the authority blog and building the email list and the social media so that they’re all getting bigger and bigger and bigger. And yeah that’s kind of like the road map or plan. It’s pretty exciting to be honest just to have this it’s like this insatiable beast that we just literally cannot feel good enough stuff which I know feels like a long way away from when you’re getting started. How do I make my first sale. But we get down to just celebrating the wins with the game.
First goal, yes we got our market, second goal, yes we’ve got our first product and then third goal, yes we’ve got our first sale and then let’s try and get to a sale today. You know that kind of thing and then multiple sales and then yeah it’s not build overnight but you can learn from some on the fast track things I’ve done I think that represents opportunity to get there yeah, much quicker.
Ilana: It sounds like. Thank you for all that amazing information. It sounds like though at the core of the success of it is really I guess tapping into where the demand is which comes down to a PPC perspective fundamental keyword research. Because then you were applying that keyword research obviously to tap into where the demand is but also to optimize your listing. And it all comes back to that keyword research. Does Amazon provide its own keyword planner tool like Google?
Greg: No they do have like, so if you’re doing sponsored products then you can run a keyword report and it’ll tell you what keywords are working but there’s no there is no tool. I know that I haven’t used any of them. But there’s several paid tools out there that you can do Amazon keyword research with. I’ve just been using the Google one and it’s working fine I’m finding that it’s while there would be some differences between platforms someone who is searching for a trackball mouse whether it’s on Google or whether it’s on Amazon is sort of the same they’re searching the trackball mouse or you know that kind of thing.
So that’s how it is so I’ve been doing it. But certainly not so in the way that I’m doing it’s the only way I’ve just. Well one thing I’ve learned in business is wherever possible keep the costs as low as possible because a business owners is not just really about revenue it’s really about profit and ultimately about cash.
So if we increase the business by a thousand dollars a month that’s not a thousand dollars profit or cash it’s because you’ve got cost of goods and then you’ve got hacks and all that kind of stuff. Yeah. So but if you can reduce cost by a thousand dollars a month that’s basically thousand dollars it goes straight into the bottom line of profit or cash.
So wherever possible use tools that Yeah I’ve already got access to rather than just keeping adding on more and more things because the more and more things I had on there is a balancing act with it but the more more things I had on the more and more I have to deal with it to be profitable and that kind of stuff which I think is a trap.
Ilana: There’s lots of tools out there which people can be very easily sucked into feeling like they need and before you know you’ve got all 100 tools are you using and of course cost blow out pretty quickly. And it also sounds like you know when you were talking about the sponsored product ads on Amazon it’s almost like you’re using the auto ads to buy the data and then ultimately revert to the manual.
Greg: So you go auto learn and then and sometimes I build a manual campaign straight afterwards based off the data they got from Google but then on the search report from both because sometimes you’ll find these in the auto campaign that Amazon’s built for me that I didn’t actually have those in my manual and then oh yeah bring those across but exactly like what you’ve been talking you on the podcast about really like how to scale any sorts of traffic campaigns whether it’s Facebook or whether it’s Google you know that kind of stuff.
So run to win as long and cut the losers short and sometimes the only difference between a winning campaign or losing campaign is that through an optimization that you’ve done because often these won’t sort off amazing initially but as you watch it and then print on demand they can be.
Ilana: Yeah I would agree with that from lots of my coaching students as well as a very quick to kind of cut the losses but they don’t realize the valuable information in buying that data so they can just cut the waste and kind of go deep on the winners. And this would be exactly the same.
Greg: Yeah yeah absolutely run the winners along with other losers short.
Ilana: So you also mentioned that you’re running Facebook ads direct to your Amazon store. Do you have some way of kind of I say like sort of you know buying that customer longer term? So let’s say you know you use Amazon to get that first initial sale. Do you have it because I know you don’t get the customer details from Amazon.
Greg: slightly different that we actually we’re running Facebook ads and the ads to our e-commerce store. So it’s going to be probably running into the e-commerce getting sales and we’re picturing people in that kind of stuff but we can see that there’s a direct correlation. I think we can make more money in the short term just by sending it straight to the Amazon store but we wouldn’t be able to pixel them and that kind of stuff.
Ilana: That was kind of where my question was. What’s the strategy with that if you direct. But since you’re not, it make sense.
Greg: Other people do send them like an opt in page where you can get a coupon code discount code and that kind of stuff and that’s how they get them on their list and then get them into Amazon. So that’s another way they can do it. We’re sitting in to the communist talks were ultimately trying to build the database and build. Yeah we’ve got tools like Clay Viau and stuff behind Shopify so that you bought X we can now sell on my own you know like kind of stuff.
Ilana: So are you doing Google ads.
Greg: We were doing google shopping and we were doing a Google search and that kind of stuff a lot of it because of our products were low price point items say twenty or thirty five dollar range. The maths wasn’t great and so what we looked at we just made a decision last week to just pause those for now and put the budget into Amazon scaling that because it’s just it’s so instant.
And yet it’s insatiable at the moment we’re going to feed it more sort of thing. So just a decision we basically we need a higher price point products for Google or we needed better upselling behind it or we need more email sequences and that kind of thing to get the average order value out because otherwise we’d just like it making the sale for twenty dollars but it’s costing us twenty dollars you know that kind of thing.
So it’s kind of pointless but we’re acquiring customers so it’s not pointless but we really need to build out our product range because that’s why we’re going to come back to that but we’re really just the bigger ticket items first Google Shopping.
Ilana: What would you say is kind of the margin you would expect for products or is it sort of too general?
Greg: Yes, so where are we possibly in a perfect world you want 3 to 1. So you’re selling it for 30 dollars you want your landed costs into the country to be ten dollars. That’s not always possible. So worst case scenario kind of is that two to one. So you’re selling a 30 and your land cost into the country’s 15 that kind of thing you’re getting much beyond that. And if you’re selling like that’s why you’ve got getting much beyond that it gets difficult that’s why you’re trying to sell other people’s stuff can be difficult.
You’re use the same brand as everyone else it can be a race to the bottom as well on price and you wonder how some of these people are doing it. So that’s why that building and brand and owning your own product range or you like I said partnering with someone who’s got their own product range and they’ve got a trademarks a new brand registry you can keep the other people off Fromm’s you know don’t allow other people to sell your stuff and just do it yourself which then you can control the price and how much does Amazon charge you for FBA yeah so it varies depending on the size and the weight of the product.
Our average one would probably be about like 6 dollars per product for them to store it package shipping you know that kind of thing. One thing we do know is that when Amazon ships it out for us the freight from them to the customer is just so much cheaper than do it ourselves. So it’s because they’re just dealing in such volumes and they’ve got such great grades and that kind of stuff.
So but then remember I said like I did an oversized product and it was 30 dollars for them and packet and cheap it and installed and that and that product I was probably going to have like thirty five dollars profit per unit and then they just get yeah, killed it. So now we’re just trying to liquidate and take them off Amazon and we’re going to put them in our own warehouse and we’re just going to try and sell them and you know sometimes that’s really just an exercise in let’s just try and get that money back and then don’t be afraid to say next. Okay we learned.
Yeah. We thought it was going to work but we really couldn’t see that one piece of the puzzle which was you know how much they going to charge for that shipping. So it’s all in the name of experience. Gregory did on a few bumps and bruises along the way but luckily starting to come out the other side now which is good.
Ilana: Nice. You have given it myself and our listeners a huge amount of information. If people want to kind of find out a bit more information about you where can they find you?
Greg: Yeah the best spot is collective.com.au. There’s lots of good video content on there. We’ve just been moving the free line for many years now so I think just plugging into our free stuff is a heap to be made to learn. I’ve spent over 250 grandam education and a lot of summarize them sol check that out.
Ilana: Awesome. Well thank you so much for taking time out of your day of leisure.
Greg: I know I work hard, play hard.
Ilana: Yeah and thank you so much for sharing your wisdom on today’s episode.
Yeah I’ll talk to you soon.
Greg: Excellent thanks for having me.
Ilana: Bye Greg.