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About this episode
Amazon did rather well from the pandemic; 2020 was the best year for ecommerce marketplaces in over a decade. Amazon marketplace sold an estimated $295 billion worth of products, up from $200 billion in 2019. Attracted by that, nearly $1 billion in fresh capital was committed to firms looking to acquire Amazon sellers and brands.
In this episode we’re exploring what makes a brand successful on Amazon and what are the common pitfalls to avoid. We’re joined by an ex-seller who grew his own multi-million dollar businesses on Amazon from the ground up & now advises other businesses on how to achieve success.
Ecommerce on Amazon
For ecommerce businesses, love it or loathe it, Amazon is a platform that online sellers simply cannot afford to ignore. Over the last 25 years, Amazon has grown to become the #1 ecommerce platform in many countries. According to Statista, each month more than 197 million people around the world get on their devices and visit Amazon.com!
Selling on Amazon brings its own set of opportunities and challenges. Businesses can tap into Amazon’s vast technical and logistical infrastructure, for example using their FBA service to handle all customer fulfilment. This is attractive because it enables best-in-class delivery & returns to be offered to customers without the investment. However, being successful on Amazon requires an almost slavish devotion to the Amazon ecosystem. You must invest in their advertising tools because success is driven by product visibility and relevance, and you need to pay to play.
For our 85th episode we’re joined by an ex-seller who’s perfectly placed to help businesses navigate the choppy waters of selling on Amazon. Jon Elder built his own Amazon business from scratch and grew it to over $10 million in sales in under 5 years. He now runs Black Label Advisor, a consultancy that advises other businesses on how to sell and compete on Amazon.
Key discussion points
Some of the core areas covered in this podcast include:
- You built an Amazon business from scratch and grew it to over $10 million in sales in under 5 years; where do you start with a monster like Amazon?
- How important is the product itself vs. knowing how to use Amazon’s seller tools?
- What mistakes did you make and how did this help you?
- 98% of new sellers on Amazon fail within their first year; how much failure is avoidable vs. people not understanding how to be successful on Amazon?
- Amazon advertising is essential to grow at scale; what have you learned, what works best and what are the common mistakes you see?
- There’s a fear that Amazon uses seller data to build out its own range to the expense of small businesses; how valid is this concern?
- There has been a trend of big brands to pull away from Amazon and focus on direct and retail channels; do you see this continuing?
- Unauthorised sellers are the bane of many vendors’ lives; how can these people sell in the first place and what can you do to combat it?