Top tips for negotiating with your suppliers

First off, remember that negotiation is about specifics. So when you order samples, you need to provide the manufacturer with all the right information for your product specification – length, weight, appearance, packaging, and so on. You want to be comparing apples and apples, not apples, oranges and bananas, when you get responses from the different factories.

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What else did your customers buy?

The ‘also bought’ and ‘customers who viewed this item also viewed’ box on Amazon and the ‘frequently bought together’ box on your product pages contain useful information for customers – but also, useful information for you as an FBA seller.

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Product improvement

Product improvement is a great idea for you. You’ll make more money, outselling your competitors and selling for higher prices. It’s a great idea for your customers, too, when you make your product better, more useful, convenient or stylish.

But how do you get started?

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Use freelancers to grow your Amazon FBA Business

You may be brilliant at spotting new product trends and product improvement ideas. You may be really great at dealing with suppliers and running business strategy. But if your writing skills aren’t that great, your product pages could be letting you down.

Everyone has weak spots. When you start out, you’re probably going to have to do nearly everything yourself. But to get your business on to the next level, you’re going to want to use freelancers to fill in the gaps in your skill set.

Don’t wait till you are run off your feet. You need to have the time to decide which areas to outsource, the time to write a job specification, and the time to interview freelancers. So start thinking well ahead of time.

First, think where are the areas that either you don’t really understand all that well, or where you find it a real effort to get started. You should also think about what areas are taking up too much of your time. And finally, think about where you can make the greatest contribution to the growth of your business. That’s where you ought to concentrate – other tasks can be outsourced.

Thank goodness, there are plenty of consultants in the gig economy who are happy to help you with tasks like

•      product description writing;

•      SEO and listing optimization;

•      customer service – monitoring messages and reviews, and responding;

•      inventory management;

•      graphical design;

•      social media management, creating content;

•      product photography;

•      product sourcing;

•      supplier management;

•      advertising campaign management.

Finding freelancers is a breeze. If you don’t know someone personally then you can use one of the freelancer platforms like Upwork (nearly ten million freelancers!), FreeUp (specializing in online business), or Fiverr (for cheapskates since it starts at just $5). Both Upwork and FreeUp have client reviews and rank their freelances, which is extremely helpful in getting the right person.

The more specific you are about exactly what’s needed, about time lines (ten product pages now, or one a month for ten months, are very different things), and about your store branding and where you want to go with the business, the more likely you are to find the right freelances. “I want some stuff written for Amazon” will not get responses from top freelancers; “I want product description pages including A+ content for 20 products aimed at dog owners” is far more likely to get the right writer.

Set up interviews, or chat online, with the freelancers who have the best match to your requirements, and make sure you both understand each other’s requirements and ways of working. Decide whether you are going to treat the project as a one-off job, a project with payment by milestones, or whether this is a pay-per-hour job on an as-required basis.

Make sure you know what software you’re going to use. You may need to give a freelance a log-in to your own inventory management systems, or to share documents on Google Drive. You also need to know what’s the best way to chat to each other – email, Skype, or collaboration tools like Trello. Ensure you have VOIP in case of emergencies.

Finally, make sure your freelancers understand where you want your business to go. For instance, you might point to your competitors’ business and say “I want our products to be better than theirs,” or “how can I get a better sales ranking than them?” Or you might say “I want my store to be the go-to store for stationery addicts on Amazon, can you help me get there?”

The more your freelancers understand your business, the better they’ll be able to help you – and the further your business will go.

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How returns destroy your profit – and how to avoid them

One Amazon seller was already selling stationery and fountain pens, and looking for new products. Glass pens, with beautiful colored spirals in the glass, seemed like a really interesting new product.

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Higher conversion rates boost your search ranking

Amazon’s search engine includes quite a number of different inputs. For instance, it includes your sales velocity and your historic sales – which gives you no help at all if you’re just starting out. It also includes your conversion rate – that is, the percentage of people who click on your product page and then go on to buy the product.

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Check Your Competitors Social Media

If you are doing things right, you’re building your brand outside Amazon as well as within the platform. You have a blog, you have a Facebook page, you Tweet, you’re on Instagram. Your branding is consistent and it’s working.

But do you know how your competitors’ brands are positioned? It’s time to take a look.

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