Sell anywhere
Sell around the world on a website, social media, marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, and anywhere else that strikes your fancy.
Promote
Marketing your business has never been easier. Google advertising, Facebook advertising, Search Engine Optimization, and more. Yes please.
Manage
Simplicity at its finest.
Learn
Get the knowledge you need to build a successful e-commerce store with Ecwid’s comprehensive user guides.
Partners
Get started today in our customizable and intuitive partnership program, and watch your business grow!
Back to all episodes

Selling on Amazon From Your Online Store

Stay up to date!

Subscribe to our podcast for weekly motivation and actionable advice to build your dream business.

In our discussion with Peter Jeffery of Codisto, we unveil high-level strategies to have success selling on Amazon.

Codisto synchs the Ecwid product catalog with every Amazon instance worldwide (US, Canada, Mexico, EU, UK, and Australia) and allows great flexibility to adjust pricing across these channels.

We discuss who should sell on Amazon, how to create a successful listing, launch a product and climb the rankings, advertising, FBA and much more.

This is a more technical podcast so feel free to listen again if you miss some details, but ignore Amazon at your own risk!

Transcript

Jesse: Hey, Richard! How is it going today?

Richard: It’s going good, I’m excited!

Jesse: Yeah, yeah, you know, this is an e-commerce podcast, and there’s one big 900-pound gorilla, that we have not mentioned in any of the pod so far, so, it’s probably time.

Richard: It’s time!

Jesse: Yeah, so the 900-pound gorilla is Amazon. Richard, what was the last time you bought something from Amazon?

Richard: Oh man, it’s me specifically or wife? It’s going on daily!

Jesse: When last time you saw an Amazon box on your front step?

Richard: Almost daily.

Jesse: Yeah! I have a couple unopened boxes on my front step right now. So, overall, Amazon is about 50% of all e-commerce in the US. And, I imagine that’s pretty much the same globally. So, it’s just one of those things, you know, we talked about e-commerce and e-commerce is great, but if you’re not thinking about what to do with Amazon, you really should. Whether you want to ignore it, or whether you want to join the party, you need to figure out your Amazon strategy. So, today that’s what this podcast is all about.

Richard: Yeah, and one of those things, kind to your point there is, when you say the word “e-commerce” and someone looks at you with glazed eyes and don’t quite know what that means, you can almost instantly summon up by saying “like Amazon.”

Jesse: Yeah, they know what Amazon is, everybody knows that.

Richard: Yeah, and so you want, this is kind of our philosophy, at least definitely mine, you want to have some sort of a presence on Amazon, because they have their known, like, and trust, they have all those credit cards on file, they have, you know, free delivery, blah blah blah. So, you want that, but you know, we’re talking specifically to people who use Ecwid also, and will be covering some interesting areas on how we can kind of flow with both, how you utilize the know and trust of Amazon, but you also want to be able to drive them back and/or utilize your own platform, because they change an algorithm over there, they change something that could change your whole business. So, I’m excited, let’s get it started.

Jesse: Yeah and this is sort of a this is a note to the beginning entrepreneurs out there. If you’re pretty new on e-commerce, this is not the easiest strategy in the world. So, Amazon is, like, swimming with sharks. So, everybody’s on there and, you know, price is very competitive, everything’s very competitive. So, if you haven’t made your first sale on your Ecwid store yet, this might be a little bit more advanced. So, just kind of FYI it’s more of an intermediate strategy, but if you’re ready, this is where the action is, the half of the e-commerce sales in the US over there. So, if you want your piece of the action, let’s see if we can break this down and make it a little bit easier for everybody. Let’s bring on our guest — Peter Jeffrey. Peter, how are you doing?

Peter: I’m very well, thanks. How are you all doing?

Jesse: We’re awesome, awesome! So, Peter is the marketing manager of Codisto. Codisto is Ecwid’s connection to Amazon and eBay globally. So, Peter, you’re the expert here today, so I hope you are ready to shed some light for our guests out there. So, let’s start in the beginning — who should be selling on Amazon?

Peter: Yep, it’s a good question. I suppose, when it comes to who should be selling on Amazon, we really need to look at as a seller, what kind of seller you are from the Amazon contacts, because it is quite a big split, you’ve got retailers, which is sort of anyone who might be selling more established products, someone else’s products, so, I say, for example, if you’re selling Nike shoes, or you’re selling Legos. If you’re then going to introduce your sort of retail operation to Amazon, it’s going to be a very competitive environment, it is going to be a hundred other people that selling that same shoe that you’re selling from Nike. So, the considerations, I guess, become basically on pricing and shipping and really, it’s just a race to the bottom there. So, what else, there is a sort of an opportunity that exists there — the biggest opportunities for people that have their own sort of branded products, their own unique branded things, for example, if I would, you know, a shop selling skincare, it’s a brand skin care, was my own unique manufactured product, then Amazon can be a really great place to start distributing that. And the difference between a seller like that and someone that small retailing other people’s products are that brand seller, they have that control over the content, the imaging and, I suppose, instead of competing on price, what you looking to is get your product to be the most sold, the most visible on the marketplace, on the retail side, because of the shared listing format on Amazon it gets very competitive against others. I suppose, when it comes to people that shouldn’t be selling on Amazon, again, those people in most competitive sort of areas, the retail and other branded product, but also there are a lot of banned categories: alcohol, weapons, things like that, that are not gonna be suitable for selling on Amazon.

Richard: Got it. Is there ever a time where I, because I completely understand that selling of a Nike, you don’t control the margin, you don’t control the brand, so you’re definitely competing on price. There’s a quick you don’t have to go super deep on this. Is there ever a time that you’ve seen where, including that as one of your skus, like, I’ll just make up a situation with this. You sell shoes, and you have your own branded shoes, but you carry a couple other brands, like specific Nike skew, that’s a hiking boot that, you know, maybe attracts somebody via that. Is there any time that could help elevate your store or, if you’re not selling enough of that brand, is that just?

Peter: Yeah, to an extent. I suppose, the biggest successful people are selling other products than competing with sellers on Amazon for the same, I seem would be, I guess, that more sort of uniqueness widely distributed kinds of products. So, if you are sort of a niche, maybe, you know, fishing supplies, and first of all it might be a bit less competitive, but also if you’re able to supply some of those more unique, more niche kind of products within that space, than through bundling and through your sort of Amazon store it could be a good in for someone. For example, they come alone, they looking for a particular fishing rod and they find it, they might be more inclined to look around your Amazon storefront and say: “What you have on offer through Amazon?” Because it’s a bit more niche, where is if you’re looking inside, that Nike shoe example: someone in the loveless likely to find that Nike shoe on Amazon and then decide themselves “I wonder what other shoes this seller is selling”, because it’s such a wide market, so easily available.

Richard: Yeah, it make sense.

Jesse: Cool! So, focusing on the people that have their own product. They created the product, they listed themselves, what can they do to get more visibility inside of Amazon?

Peter: Yeah, well, lots of things, really. As a brand seller, I guess the biggest difference is that you have control of your listing, and control of configuring it, and the content it’s, you know, and so the strategy really is to make sure that listing is the best possible representation of your product and your business. And then, on the flip side of that, there are long listing considerations and ranking factors which are basically used to get the most visibility possible for your product. So these, everything from the sort of picking the right images to include the right keywords in your title and back-end fields on your Amazon, to get the most visibility. From there, it’s more a sort of ongoing performance, metrics and you want to be making sure that your conversion rate (the number of people who the land on your page and actually buy the product) is high, and that’s going to make Amazon recognize that within the space of skin care, if it’s an example. If you are selling more per hundred visits than the next guys, then they are gonna push you up the page and effectively advertise you themselves. So, things, like good star writing as well improve that basically and maintain good customer service and having a good well-optimized listing.

Richard: So, Peter, I was going to ask you one of the things, that definitely we got to let the audience know here is that, not only are you well-qualified and well-understanding of Amazon and a lot of things you should and shouldn’t do on Amazon, but, because of your integrations with Ecwid, you make it a lot easier to get products and product listings on Amazon which, just as Jesse referenced earlier, is can be very challenging.

Peter: Yeah.

Richard: So, do customers have to change, like, say, someone, is listening to this: “Wow, I like this, I have more sales, I’d like to try Amazon, I’d like to look at that integration,” will run him through exactly how to do that later at least, point in the right direction. But, do they have to change anything or does it pull over the descriptions, and pricing, and everything from your Ecwid store?

Peter: So, good question, so, say If you got a large catalog of products, you know, maybe a few thousand skews, will automatically take all that catalog information and reformat it and use it to create the Amazon listings and now be live ready to go and it would make sales. From there, as I mentioned, there is a different set of factors, maybe an online store in terms of what makes a good listing and what makes an optimized listing. Some of those come down to things, like title description, so your description, you pull up things like that come out of you Ecwid store through a basic integration without product, we’ll just take the title and use it to create an Amazon title but we do have some features, based around creating rules and operate it.

So, for example, an Amazon title, the kind of structure that, like, you should have your brand name, and a product name, sizing, male, female, things like that from a, I suppose, optimization point of view though, you want to be how to include some of you keywords, you must add relevant keywords into the title and structure in the certain way the keys dominates to those at the front of the title for Amazon’s algorithm. Through that product you can do that with, like I said, to set a rule-based operating is, say, you can create a set of rules that says, when creating a title from my Ecwid catalog for Amazon, I want it to be structured like this: brand name, product name, maybe pull a keyword field from a certain back-end field in Ecwid and basically you can, sort of, Frankenstein-monster together. Your Amazon optimize titles, but from the, we always recommend to continue to optimize and change beyond the basics of the automated listing and continue to always try to improve your listings manually, for your sort of key products, or, at least, maintain that visibility.

Jesse: Sure. So, the good thing is that, so for anybody that’s been listening to the podcast, the previous episodes, it sounds a lot like our SEO podcast. There’s a lot of the same concepts and, if your product listed in Ecwid is already optimized for the right keywords, you’re at a pretty good start for Amazon. So, Peter, what I’m hearing is that either there are extra tweaks that should be done inside of Amazon, whatever your keyword research for SEO is probably a good start, but there’s a lot more you can do for Amazon specifically.

Peter: Yeah exactly. And it’s interesting that you’ve mentioned SEO, it is a sort of area on Amazon that does exist for optimizing and part of your strategy, but a lot of people are overlooked, and it is very important. And, I suppose, when it comes to Amazon SEO if you manage to master your online store for Google and the way I say it is that’s kind of the big legs. So, if you can find success through SEO on Google, then Amazon’s going to be a little more straightforward basically: there is a lot less, I guess, fields and areas you need to worry about; basically, it’s your title and your, you got a set of search term fields. So, rather than traditional online store SEO environment you’ll be looking at putting keywords into your title tags, but also throughout the content of the page, and you’ll be looking in a backlinks and things like that, that’s none of the concerns with Amazon basically, you got your title and you have five fields in the back-end of your listing, and you just tell Amazon which keywords you want to show up for search term fields, so it’s a much simple a proposition.

Jesse: So, it’s like the old days of SEO for people that have been doing online marketing for a while?

Peter: Exactly. Yeah, like, first of all, many keywords and things like that, is basically all it takes through the Amazon listing and terms of it.

Jesse: Yeah. What’s a good tip for, I mean, there’s a lot of things you could do, but for title specifically, I’ve seen a lot of really long titles in Amazon, I have a hunch that’s all done for the game in the Amazon system, is there a, you know, a quick tip that we could pass along for the titles?

Peter: Yes, definitely, look, a lot of paper when it comes to creating their Amazon titles that are very focused on keywords is being your sort of number one biggest ranking factor and look at it I guess a performance ranking factor, but really it’s more of a relevance one.

So, it’s a sort of two-step process: you put the keywords in so that Amazon knows kind of went to show your product, but just the presence of those keywords, whether they a sort of at the start of your title, or a new title is opposed to your search term fields, isn’t going to on its own make Amazon, you know, throw your product to number one position. It basically just tells “this is where to look”, what is going to put your product in higher positions is good conversion rates, good click through, so a lot of people see your product and click through it and buy it. And now is a lot more dependent on having good, well-written titles that anwer and getting truncated in the display or in the search engine result page. So, you really want to strike that balance between including what you think of the most important and keywords into your titles, but not having that sort of, you know, Pete’s skincare, great for skin, best in world, organic, healthy, you know, a hundred adjectives describing the product and it just looks spammy. So, you want to include those keywords, but you more than anything want to have a good looking title, a good looking listing, that sounds professional and sounds like a product, that people would want to buy.

Jesse: Got it. So, don’t go crazy with SEO and making it look jamming keywords in there, make sure a human read this, and say “I want to buy this.”

Peter: I mean, you must put your most important keywords in there, but as soon as starts, while it getting heavily truncated in the search results or starts having a bit, like, a bit spammy, then you’ve got those search term fields in a back-end to play with. So, you’d better of utilizing them.

Richard: I was going to ask and  I might be jumping ahead here — but because you want to get your first sale, and you want to get it going, you want to have success, is there a trick to getting early sales and is there ever a reason to (because I hear multiple opinions on this) but is there a reason to get sales fast on Amazon, not only do you want them, but is there a reason you need to?

Peter: That definitely is reasoning that you need lots of sales, and quick sales velocity. It is one of the more interesting areas of optimizing for Amazon, in the past they were paying for the services where are could give away your product for free in exchange for reviews and that was weighted quite heavily by the Amazon algorithms, so people would be out with, a sort of, give it out a hundred products basically for free or having discount. And then the next day their product would shoot up to the top of all of the search results because it’s the top selling for the last 24 hours.

But it’s sort of coming down a little bit on that and that most they’re all those third-party, so is it still available the waiting of those sales through heavy discount, isn’t sold off this high anymore. So, the process these days is a little bit more of a marathon, but there are still sort of things you can do to get those early sales.

I always advise introducing your product, so not worrying margins about images at first, but introducing your product at a lower price, you can afford to sell it to get a quick sales velocity. Communicating through all of your channels, you know, so your social media, things like that. Studying with a good sponsored products, campaigns, so that Amazon’s, I guess, the equal of an AdWords or PPC, marketing platform, so you can basically, at first, you know, can be a the top positions of search results for products like yours, but you can pay to have that position in those early sales you get, whether it through a sponsored products or through, a sort of, advertising on your own Facebook page and things like that.

Those early sales start to build that your sales history and your sales velocity and that is one of the most important ranking factors. So, their lots of things, that going to Amazon’s decision about who to show, or who’s products to show for what keywords, but really it comes down to which of the best reviewed, and which ones sell the most and in turn and make the most money for Amazon. So, it is really important to get that early kind of sales velocity, but then in turn, you know, star ratings, your reviews, and it is, I guess, a bit of a chicken and an egg situation, because if you don’t have good reviews and good star rating, then you don’t can get many sales initially, if you don’t get those sales initially, then you are out of to get those reviews and that star rating, which basically makes steps of the first couple of weeks of selling in Amazon really just about focusing on, you know, dealing with customers as well, getting sales, but you can encouraging that feedback and that star rating. And from there you want to get as much that sales velocity as you can.

Richard: So, one thing you said they’re Peter kind of stood out to me  make the most money for Amazon. So, is there a reason to, let’s drill down on that just a tap. Do you mean specifically you feel as if selling the total gross needs to be a lot of money, so it doesn’t matter to them how much their making on any particular skew or is it, if you sold a million dollars worth of $5 things that are just as good to them as if you sold that, you know whatever, a hundred dollar thing and you didn’t sell under a million, right, I don’t want to do math right now, but you get my point. Is it a total number of sales they get happy or is it a total number of skews being sold? Not skews, but a total number of products.

Peter: It’s a combination of everything and everything else, kind of, I guess, if you look at long listed things on Amazon, taking to account when they are deciding which product to show for a particular search. It’s a long list of considerations, all of which can kind of be tied back to the commercial sort of opportunity for Amazon, which makes sense when you think about it, but if, you know, a product selling at a lower price, for example, if I might be selling, will go back to my skincare example, you know, if a $50 skin care product is selling, one for every $10 one does, they will probably push a $10 one up higher, because it’s faster sales, they getting the FBI revenue, they get a more commission, and it’s a more quickly, and it’s more customers. So, I suppose it’s probably that basic velocity and generally lower pricing is going to push you up higher ranking, anyway, which means, gives me an indication, in terms of, I guess, setting up their algorithms Amazon favors a sort of velocity in quick turnover over those large margin sort of products.

Jesse: Yeah, Peter, I’ve seen velocity mentioned a lot when I read about Amazon. So, you know, it does seem, like, you want to make a splash when you go on Amazon where, you know, don’t just list it and hope you sell, you need to prime the pump a little bit, it is what I’ve read on that.

Peter: Yeah, definitely. And like I attached on, sort of, sponsored products is a great way to do that, you want to stamp those marking points going straight away, and I think a lot of paper, those stats, doing with sponsored products, you are marketing and they’ll be worrying about some of the margin they’re getting and how much returning they get on that investment straight away, but really at that point of bringing your products to Amazon for the first time, you’re not looking to make many straight away, you’re looking to, I guess, investing in those listings and you gotta start thinking about your product listings as, you know, an asset, because, if you’ve got a sales history, and ranking, and star ratings, and good reviews, and that is I said, that’s a distribution point of your product, and you need to invest in that initially to get it off the ground, which means running your sponsored products, get sales velocity and maybe doing it at a little loss, and maybe selling your product at a lower price, when you first get at Amazon to encourage higher levels of conversion rate and more sales. So, Amazon will ultimately recognise that this product sells.

Richard: Yeah, I could definitely see that especially if you take a loss on that, just say, product A, but product A leads to product B, and product B is your higher-margin product, then I could definitely see that as a strategy — go ahead, go in almost use it as a loss leader, they’re coming in and getting this going to get your velocity with the sponsored ads and then back and easily bring up your other products or your store and search results than it sounds like is that. Am I overthinking or is that kind of what you’re talking about there?

Peter: Yeah, it definitely that’s the kind of thing exactly. Especially with Amazon, I suppose, when you look at it, in relation to your online store, if you’re using Amazon complementary to your activity through your online store, then, I suppose, it’s more about getting the product into as many hands as possible, having that first positive customer experience, so that they come back through your online store, or so that they aware of your brand and so when you’re, I guess, going for that sort of multichannel visibility play and trying to get your product into the social proof that Amazon provides and that visibility that they provide. Then those initial concerns are so much about margin, about getting those sales, starting the customer relationship and over time that sort of grows not only your Amazon presence and your Amazon sales, but also your brand and your online store, and so your customers become pretty good returning customers.

Jesse: So, all comes back to: you have to spend money to make money, once again.

Peter: Essentially is. Exactly.

Jesse: So, yeah, and I think, well I take from what you’re saying there’s there are a couple different points there but what I see in general is yo if you keep your price low and you spend money on Advertising you’re going to your going to prime the pump so you get a bunch of sales first you sure you’re not making a whole lot of money maybe you’re even losing money but that increases the velocity for Amazon, so now rather than having to pay your organic listings move up listing so if you’re not in a very competitive space, now when people type in “Peter skin care” now you show up in the second or third listing where before you had to pay for it, so you’re the priming the pump is probably a good there.

Peter: Exactly, yeah. I suppose if you’re looking at traditional sort of SEO and SEM paid search environment, no matter how much money you spend on Google AdWords, for example, sending traffic into your website, it’s not going to help your SEO positioning and sort of directly. Where is on Amazon, it very much is, so, you know, sales and traffic becomes through Amazon sponsored product are treated exactly the same as once they come through organic channels and so, if you start making sales through the pay channel, you will rise up the ranks organically, and so, it then starts being a sort of, you know, self-sustaining system where the sales that you make prop up your product in cape of visible, but getting there in the first place is a little more difficult.

Richard: Peter, Richard again. Quick question here: so, we’re obviously covering an Amazon and, you know, the 900-pound gorilla is Jesse lead it too and the reason for wanting to use Amazon, but again we’re mostly have Ecwid user crowd, there are some other people who just want to learn more about e-commerce in general, but what are some of the things you can do and you seem really work to drive traffic back to your online store and what are some of the things that Amazon frowns upon? What can you and shouldn’t you do to take the know, like, and trust of Amazon, take the sales and moving up the ranks and doing all the things you’re saying to do it right? What should we and what shouldn’t we do when it comes to driving people back to our online store?

Peter: Yeah, it’s a good question. I suppose, when it comes to Amazon, obviously the option is great, that going to be a really big build-in audience, but it is competitive if you’re, sort of, don’t own the space, don’t own the channel and even when you do make those sales, for example, your customer information, the email addresses, you don’t get any of that. So you can’t remarket to them or have those long-term relationships with them. So, when it comes to bridging that gap though, there are a few things you can do, and what you can’t do is, so to send them correspondents through Amazon’s systems and come to my online store and shop here, what you can do though include within the product you deliver to them. So, product inserts is a great way within the packaging or advertising your online store actually on your packaging, things, like, warranty registration, or cashbacks, or discount codes for future purchases from your Ecwid-based online store, are all really things to include inside your packaging for an Amazon order.

Richard: Yeah, I can imagine you could also, maybe a demonstration of how to use the product, how to assemble the product, YouTube video on your site, so you’re kind of get another search engine on your site, I could imagine that would be a good one as well.

Peter: Yeah, exactly in anywhere else, I guess, a search engine is a good thing to do when it comes as anyway, is to add value when you can. So, I guess, if you’re selling kitchen utensils, then things, like, cooking ebooks and stuff like that, or user guides, or tutorials, you know, video tutorials on cleaning, those products can always be included in that always links back to your online presence, and you can definitely point your Amazon customers towards those assets that you provide, that’s a good step to creating that customer relationship of a time.

Jesse: Yeah, I recently bought a, it was a charging station for all the devices in my home, and of course it has different cables for different things and they said that you know, just send us your email and your address and we’ll send you free cables, is just say if you want an iPhone X or whatever. And of course I did, it was free, but they now have my email and my address so, genius.

Peter: Yeah, exactly, that’s, I guess, a kind of a strategy, they’re looking for. And, I suppose, you know, I can go all those things to bridge the gap to get them, you know, into your email list and be able to market through them or to get them back to your store, but I think the biggest thing, when you’re looking at Amazon as a complementary sales channel, is not so much necessary, I think the choice of a place of getting extra sales, but also I guess it’s very prompt, it’s the visibility, we get there, so people showing behaviour now, is that they’ll find, they may find the product out of the online store and Amazon, but they will conduct further research, so if they’ll find on Amazon, they’ll going to the research to find out, are you a real brand, what’s your identity as a brand, they are looking to your Instagram, your Facebook, in your online store, conversely if they find your product through your online store, maybe your social pipes, they’ll want that social proof, Amazon can provide with reviews.

So, they might not buy on Amazon, but they’ll probably will go to have a look there, what other people have said about your product. So, I guess, is that visibility, being on multiple channels, the social proof that comes with that and the reviewing system and like with all channels, it’s that ongoing positive customer experiences will ultimately back to improving your brand. So, sales that you have on Amazon, you can include an inserts or you can encourage people to come back to your online store and that’s all great strategy, but the number one thing is really making sure that they have a good experience with the product and a good experience with you in terms of customer service, if they do require the interaction, and that’s sort of a positive brand experience is always going to find back to your online store and to your brand.

Richard: Yeah, Peter. I had something you were talking about there, and I want to keep it at that ten thousand foot level more or less, yes you can or no you can’t, because if you can, I’m sure there’s a lot to it, but in the remarketing piece right there that you were saying you don’t get their emails, so you can’t remarket to them I can’t believe I’ve never asked this question before but since we got the Amazon expert on, can you remarket to people in Amazon via Amazon?

Peter: Via Amazon no.

Richard: So if they’ve landed on your page before and you’re like: “Hey, here’s me again”…

Peter: No.

Richard: OK.

Peter: You can, there are few other options that kind of replace that, but mostly, most of the success on Amazon advertising is going to be that direct sort of PPC, if someone searches this keyword, then it’s going to show him an add, there are other forms of advertising but remarketing is not one of them.

Richard: Got it. So, back to your point: in Amazon’s eyes, the best way for them to show you again is to provide the best product, the best price, the best service, sell the most, get the best reviews, they’ll show you again?

Peter: Exactly, yeah. I suppose anyone is getting started there. I won’t to go through every ranking factor because that sort of education is widely available on the Internet, but if you are going to start selling on Amazon, you’re serious about it, and want to get your listings to be seen and to be purchased, then definitely go through it. It’s really Amazon selling, I suppose, compared to maybe some other channels, it’s more of a checklist, then a considered strategy, and if you go for it, make sure you’ve got optimized title, quality images, good descriptions, good star writings and tick all those boxes, then you will have the successful product, basically, that’s simple.

Jesse: So, Peter, I personally have sold stuff on Amazon, and I can tell you from personal experience — it’s tough, the ads are tough, you know, people, nobody leaves reviews. So, I have a personal request, how do you get more reviews on Amazon? You know, nobody leaves reviews I don’t leave reviews either, so I’m not surprised. But I know they’re important, everyone says: “You got to get reviews, you’ve got to get 5-star reviews!” OK, that’s great, but how do I get them?

Peter: It’s a good question, a tricky one. Like I alluded to before, there are those of the third-party services that are giving away your product to get reviews, in the past they worked really well, but Amazon is a sort of stamped down on that a little bit these days, so you pretty much have to go back to the old-fashioned way. There are some options that Amazon provides, if you’re doing a vendor arrangement, which is looking for a lot of detail, but, of if you’re doing vendor express, you can basically pay Amazon to give your product away if you pay and get some reviews, but that isn’t available to all sellers.

For most of us is a sort of doing it the hard way and I guess it’s just come down to contacting the customers, you know, asking for those reviews, obviously I wouldn’t do in a spammy or demanding way, but if someone has bought the product of you, they are happy with it, there is nothing wrong with sending an email saying “Look, we are glad you’ve enjoyed it, we hope you will leave us a review”. You can’t ask for positive reviews, but you can ask for a review.

I guess, the other thing you can really do is, every part of your brand experience makes a customer want to champion your brand because that’s when they’re going to leave those reviews. Those kinds of “thank you” cards inside, interesting, creative sort of flyers just with your packaging, follow-up offers, and like we talked about it, bridging the gap between your online store and… Having discount cards and things like that or warranty registrations to open that line of communication and then just, using that provide value and, I suppose, positivity outside of just: “Hey, leave me a review.”

Jesse: That doesn’t work, I’ve tried that, it didn’t work!

Peter: Yeah, yeah, I mean, even from right down to the basics of that sort of review request mail which you can send through the Amazon if you’re just saying: “Hey, leave me a review.”, it’s not gonna get the kind of response than like: “Hi, we happy that you enjoy the product, you can register for your warranty here, we’d love here any feedback, and if you have some time, leave a review!” So, leading with more positive and more value than just a simple review request.

Jesse: So, one more question specifically around this. Kind of the analogy, stick with the analogy of a restaurant right now. People, that’s one that people leave a lot of reviews on restaurants at Yelp up here I’m not sure if they use down there or not but.

Peter: Yeah and I do. It’s hard to be a restaurant, it’s a dangerous business (laughing).

Jesse: Exactly, but to that to that point, they kind of leave the review for the overall restaurant. So, in this metaphor, is there roll over if you get a lot of good reviews on one particular product, like, say one product you just notice, you tend to be able to get a lot of reviews on.

Does that help your whole store in general, because to the metaphor of the restaurant, your chicken might suck, but your steak might be unbelievably amazing. If you can get reviews on your state will it roll over to your other products and bring the whole listing of your store up to?

Peter: I suppose scientifically the answer is unsure, but I guess and internally from experience, there is an element of that crossover, I suppose, on Amazon, there are two different rating systems. There’s a sort of seller rating which they will kind of moving away from, which is, you know, where you rate the interaction, terms of shipping, customer service, and the product rating which gets attached to a specific product listings.

So, if we take that scenario back, if you’re selling just Nike shoes, then that’s seller rating which comes from how that fulfillment process is banging, when you managing that time delivery, if your for filling and things like that, that becomes important in that particular competitive space where you’re looking at, I guess, what called a buy box, the add to cart button against twenty other sellers of the same product, when it comes to, you know, introducing your branded product, that product rating is always been hundred times more important. So, the star rating is attached to the specific listing of the product, that being said, in terms of, being a brand, so lots of products has a good seller rating and is recognize by Amazon system as a supposed being established and well-reviewed, then when you introduce new products, or have products that, haven’t got that sales velocity or star rating, yes, they are going to get a bit of a push more, so, because, I suppose, Amazon algorithm knows that you are a genuine supplier of a good product, but I wouldn’t say, it’s as scaled as some of the other factors. So, I think for Amazon at least from the A9’s algorithms perspective, it’s this an established seller with good ratings and reviews, YES or NO, and if it’s YES, then when you’re bringing new product with no ratings, it might push a little bit harder, if it’s a NO, then it will probably put you down with all the other new products.

Jesse: Got it. And by the way to the listeners here, I bet you have no idea where Peter’s from, but Peter’s from Australia. Amazon’s fairly new in Australia, how long has Amazon been in Australia?

Peter: Probably about six months now. Late last year, so, just in time of the Christmas.

Jesse: And do you have your Amazon Prime membership?

Peter: No, it’s a been a bit of a phased roll out. So, Amazon Prime hasn’t launched yet, so they basically started with FBM only which it is Merchant Fulfilled. And then they’ve rolled out FBA recently so for that’s who don’t know that’s Fulfilled by Amazon which basically means sellers can send their products into an Amazon distribution center and have them fulfilled from there. Basically outsourcing that logistics from Amazon, so that’s only just beginning and then Prime’s next on the site so, it’s very much introducing things, so one at a time.

Jesse: Got it. So for listeners around the world outside of Australia, in order to get the Amazon Prime designation, I know there are a couple other ways you can do it, but the main way to do it is to do this Fulfillment by Amazon program, the FBA. Can you go into more detail on that, how to how do people set that up?

Peter: Yeah, it’s very simple. So, basically FBA, FBM — the split is, do Fulfil By Merchant is, I guess, your, listing your product for sale on Amazon, and if it gets sold, Amazon takes the commision, and you deliver the product, you have to do with all of the logistics based customer service and make sure it gets to the product within Amazon’s service delivery timeframes, where is FBM is a different proposition all together, it’s basically you list the product for sale on Amazon, and then you raise a delivery order with Amazon, and you say: “I’m sending a hundred units of this producing into your warehouse, and it sits there until someone purchase it,” when it happens Amazon picks, packs and delivers it for you. And they also deliver all the shipping-based customer service, so, I suppose, for a lot of businesses, especially for small ones, it’s really great idea, I guess, scaly business and sell into the international territories.

Australia, for example. You could send a few hundred units of a product into the Australian FBA warehouse, and that’s, I suppose, in terms of the logistics the last that you have to worry about, and from there you just concentrate on, getting your product listing and doing your marketing and getting your sales. And, I suppose, when it comes to ranking factors, and before Amazon definitely gives a level of priority to products that sold through FBA, again because the doubling the revenue, not just commision on sale, but also they charge a fee to pick, pack and deliver the product for you. So, whether it’s retail the products competing on the same listing for the buy box, or whether it’s, your own branded product listing, trying to get more visibility on a search result page, both of those in a better position for the success if you are using FBA, it’s by no means a prerequisite, you can, if your ranking factor is an optimization tools and place, that you can still have a successful FBM or Fulfilled By Merchant listing, if you want leverage your existing logistics in for structure.

Richard: So I’m assuming since Amazon wants to sell everything to everybody, basically from A to Z, that secret smiley face that they’re done. Those of us who know that that’s part of their whole thing, right. They want to sell from A to Z. I’d imagine there’s no maximum what you could send them. But keep in mind that even though we have quite a few merchants on Ecwid, that have in this, you know, well-established business and doing million plus dollars. Let’s kind of bring it back to the person who’s just getting started and saying: “Oh, great, you know, now I got to have this big chunk of inventory to send over to Amazon.” Is there a minimum, is there some sort of you have to send it at least this much?

Peter: No minimum, no maximums, you do have doing where and the operate know, say, send five thousand units, and you are sending two a week, Amazon does charge, monthly fees for the storage, which kind of can be quite expensive if you’re just leaving things there, it’s not so much a storage, it definitely need to be distribution-minded and, sort of you know, send a realistic amount, then you can clear through within a couple of months, and I suppose, usual margin and impact analysis when it comes to that, but in terms of it, the smaller amount, bigger amount as you want, and it’s great, you can just send a few in, if you want to, say, how to do it as an experiment, before coming with larger deliveries.

Jesse: Perfect. So, for a merchant that just wants to start with Amazon. For Fulfilled By Merchant means you list the product on Amazon, you sell it, you ship it, that’s pretty simple. But the next step is that if you want to send a certain amount of inventory to Amazon, now you’re in the FBA program which means you now get the Amazon Prime designation.

Peter: That’s yes, bringing back to you, yes. That’s how you get Amazon Prime product. So, any that are sold through FBA, you can get a merchant fulfilled prime now, which, even there’s a few hurdles to leap, but if you’re able to deliver offer the sort of delivery promise that Amazon does through there FBA, through your own logistic channels, then you can apply for a granded ability to have, what called Merchant Fulfilled Prime, so it is a prime from the customer point of view, a prime delivery, and it’s value for the prime program, but the logistics and shipping is handled by you, the merchant.

Jesse: Yep, you just need to do that two days though, so that’s a can be a tough hurdle. Yeah, so I think that’s super helpful for beginning merchants, yes you can get your feet wet/, but with FBA they move up the rankings, they take care of the shipping also has it kind of a tip to people that are doing this as a side hustle or don’t want to pack and ship anything. FBA can also be used to ship your own products, so you can ship products to Amazon and then, say, you sell something on your own Ecwid store, you can log into the back-end of Amazon and have them ship it for you from their inventory. So, if you want to take a vacation once in a while, that also is helpful to have your products at Amazon and ship it out Amazon.

Peter: And that’s called the FBA with multi-channel fulfillment.

Jesse: Good deal. You know all the terms, Peter, I know the generality is but, you got the other terms, right. So, for Ecwid merchants, there’s a lot of people that are already selling on Amazon. What do a sort of advantages they get in using the Codisto integration with Amazon what separates that from just doing it on your own?

Peter: Yeah, I suppose, where the advantage comes in, particularly if you have a larger catalog, is that centralized control, not having to go, into Amazon and also we integrate with an eBay as well. So, you know, you can manage all through of those from the one, central location Ecwid, and particularly if you are doing, your own fulfillment, then there’s a level of inventories which you just can’t do manually. So, basically if your, selling on the three channels, and someone buys two units of your product from Amazon, and you have ten in stock, will instantly update your Ebay and your Ecwid store, that you have two available, which means you never have those inventory mismatches or even more costly of those are oversells, where if you’re doing multichannel manually, you often might find yourself in a position, where you’ve sold products, that have already been sold on another channel, and you don’t have available anymore. I suppose in term of that, it gives you that sort of, you know, one stop shop to change, so, you can make tweaking changes to your pricing, or to product details, or to shipping rolls from Ecwid and have them push up to all of your channels, so Ebay, Amazon, also globally, you could be running your multiple Amazon stores and multiple Ebay stores in multiple countries and doing all within your Ecwid platform, so, it definitely make that multichannel strategy a lot easy to manage.

Jesse: Awesome! So this is all going to be located Inside of your Ecwid control panel then?

Peter: Exactly, yes. And I think the biggest advantage is, well is if you are new to the marketplace, and you want to create those listings, especially if you have a branded product, so you need to, you know, create descriptions, title, copy, images and all the back-end, if you have a large number of skews, then to do that manually on Amazon takes a long time, eBay as well, and you can get very tricky with (flat files) and upload shades, where is with the Codisto integration for Ecwid, it’s really just a few clicks and automated process, which makes it a lot quicker and easier.

Jesse: Is it possible to, say, you know, maybe I want to charge last money on my Ecwid store, but with Amazon, I want to charge a little bit more because Amazon is taking such a big cut. Is that possible to do within Codisto?

Peter: Yeah, definitely! So, everything, every field is signed with Amazon or Ebay, can basically operate on goals, so for pricing, for example, you have options to do a fix costs, so, whatever your Ecwid price is, that will be your Amazon price, whether you are going to send this up or down, so Ecwid price plus 3% or, Ecwid price plus, you know, a dollar or two dollars, or you can alternately manually set, you can turn the pricing off and set a specific manual price for the marketplace, and it’s a lot of flexibility there. And that is the same flexibility moves across the basically any field, so, you know, like I mentioned before, your titles, your constructions, that using field operate as in rules, and set with the shipping and basically every other field.

Jesse: Awesome! Sounds like there’s a ton of detail here, pretty much, any flexibility you want is built in. Where can Ecwid merchants go to learn more about this integration?

Peter: You go through, you know, Ecwid interface is in the marketplace is tab, so, it’s the best way to get started, it’s free for 30 days, install and use the app, and you can list as many products as you want on Amazon and eBay. So, the best way is to learn by doing and give it a go, if you’re thinking about it, we also do have a sort of more information about a branded product on our website.

Jesse: If people sign up, do you provide some more emails and things on how to set this up, is there any more education, that the merchants can get as they go through the process?

Peter: We do, yes, so just starting with 30 days trial we send, you know, what you need to get started in terms of using the product and little bit of interaction to the marketplaces and we have a full customer services onboarding team. So, onboarding specialists, especially if you go a slowly tricky integration of a large catalog, they for basically, you know, any help in terms of setting up your Amazon and eBay listings through Ecwid and Codisto.

Jesse: Awesome! So, sounds like, there’s a lot of help to get people started and, you know, I want to take the opportunity to encourage any Ecwid merchants out there, you know, Amazon’s 50% of the e-commerce market out there. So, please check out the sales channels, go look on other sales channels, go to Amazon, you have a 30 day free trial for Codisto, so if you are ready for Amazon, no it’s the time, we’ve got an easy integration to put together for you. Peter, any last words?

Peter: No, thanks for having me on the podcast and yeah, if anyone has any questions about the sort of Codisto, about the integrations, or how to get started, then they can feel free to get in touch with this or they can be in touch with me directly, I will happy to help.

Jesse: Awesome, Peter. Thanks for coming on the podcast, really appreciate it. This is Jesse.

Richard: This is Rich, take care!

Jesse: Thank you.

Hosted by
Jesse is the Marketing Manager at Ecwid and has been in e-commerce and internet marketing since 2006. He has experience with PPC, SEO, conversion optimization and loves to work with entrepreneurs to make their dreams a reality.

Want to be a guest?

We want to share interesting stories with the community, fill out this form and tell us why you would be a great guest.