When I first got the invitation to Boost With FBA, I danced a little jig of excitement. The first ever “Seller Summit” thrown by Amazon, in the heart of New York in the middle of summer. Billed as a “unique opportunity to learn how to grow your sales and reach new customers”, it held lofty promises. And the event did not disappoint!
Here is a brief little video we put together highlighting some of the event.
But I also wanted to share a written recap of the event, because there were some really cool things that deserve your attention as well: actionable takeaways, new programs, and simple steps you can take to leverage Amazon’s new programs.
Everything that follows is based on this one premise: Amazon is friggin huge, and is just starting to scratch the surface of its long-term ambitions. In Jeff Bezos parlance, the Amazon of today is simply Day 1, and there is a ton more that is planned for building out this system of commerce.
At one point in the keynote address, Mark Mitchke, Vice President of Fulfillment by Amazon, described the vision that drives the FBA program: One click global prime business.
This is Mark Mitchke giving his keynote address. Unfortunately Jeff Bezos was not in attendance, but his presence seemed to loom in every corner – as you can see he is certainly bigger than life:
Each word in that phrase holds significant meaning, and paints a picture of what the future for Amazon can be. Ultimately, I think the whole event can be distilled down to three main lessons that can help you align your goals with Amazon’s big vision:
- Invest in Your Brand’s Story
- Think In Global Terms
- Be A Savvy Marketer
Let’s dig in to these one at a time…
Lesson #1: Invest In Your Brand’s Story
Early this year in May, Amazon revamped it’s Brand Registry program. It is now an updated sleek portal designed to help you protect your registered trademark on Amazon (you can learn more about it here, and we will share more in the near future with the Jungle Snugs Brand Registry).
Brand Registry now requires that you have a completed registered trademark, but the benefits you get as a registered brand are powerful.
- The ability to upload custom videos on your product page.
- A unique Amazon url (think amazon.com/jungle-snugs)
- A customizable product detail page with images, text, and nicer design
- Better protection over intellectual property breaches and brand
Amazon is now offering the resources to help sellers tell their stories and differentiate their products to stand out from the crowd. In a marketplace that is getting more crowded with sellers of similar products.
In fact, as noted in the keynote address, Jeff Bezos and Tom Taylor conceived of Fulfillment by Amazon as a way for entrepreneurs and small brands to take on and challenge incumbent big brands. It looks like the vision is coming to fruition now, especially with these Enhanced Brand Content capabilities.
- Register For a Trademark – you can find a variety of fast and cheap ways to register a trademark online. We used Trademark Engine for Jungle Snugs registration, but really many of these options are interchangeable.
- Register Your Brand With Amazon – The process is all here.
Lesson #2: Think In Global Terms
It’s no misguided overstatement to say that Amazon is aiming for global domination. From the impression and statistics shared, the US marketplace is currently the largest, but growth is rapid in Europe and Japan.
It sounds enticing to take your successful Amazon product and expand into these burgeoning international marketplaces, right? Of course it does!
Historically, retailers who had international ambitions had to address the challenges of international fulfillment, currency exchange, language translation, customer service, product returns, not to mention finding and marketing to relevant customers.
Amazon’s Global Selling program has all but demolished these obstacles. You can learn more about the Global Selling program here.
Moreover, there is a new Pan-European program that basically treats all of the European marketplaces as one marketplace. As a seller, you just send your product to one distribution center and can list and sell your products across Europe.
Here’s a fun little video that they shared to pitch the Pan-European FBA program:
The promise that this program offers is astounding! One Amazon seller was in attendance to share her experience of leveraging Amazon’s Global Selling program. Her product (which is more like a large independent retailer at this point), Bling Jewelry, more than doubled sales within a year by expanding overseas!
- Review and understand the taxes and regulations in the market you want to expand to. More information on that is HERE.
- Register and Launch Overseas. Sounds too good to be true, but registration is only a few clicks away from HERE.
Lesson #3: Be A Savvy Marketer
There were a few valuable sessions dedicated towards marketing and growing your brands and products on Amazon.
There are various ways to market your product, depending on the budgets, product life cycle (is it a product launch, or just general promotion?), type of product, and your objectives.
Amazon offers a few out-of-the-box promotional strategies that are familiar to sellers, including:
- Lightning Deals
- Prime Day
- Multi unit discounts (ie buy 3, get one at 20% off)
These tools have different use cases, but ultimately are important for driving traffic and conversions.
However, the one tool that is consistently in the toolbox of the savvy marketer is Sponsored Products, also known as Amazon’s Pay Per Click program.
In my opinion, the Amazon pay per click platform is several years behind Google AdWords and Facebook as far as the data segmentation, reporting, and analysis capabilities.
However, it looks like there are significant improvements right around the bend, which will simply offer ways for the savvy marketer to outpace the unsophisticated marketers. The savvy marketer will be able to identify the most purchase-ready and relevant audiences, target them in a cost-effective manner, and make changes and optimizations based on the ongoing influx of data.
Whether you need to get exposure for your new product launch, or want to maintain stead sales for an existing product, pay per click sounds like it is going to be an indispensable asset for continued growth.
Learn the basics of getting your product in front of relevant customers:
- Pay Per Click Strategies
- Optimizing Pay Per Click Campaigns
- Search Engine Optimization
- Keyword Research
- Split Testing
- Increase Conversion Rates
One of my favorite parts of the event was seeing the stories, and products, of sellers who have leveraged Amazon to grow big businesses.
And at the end, there was a “Seller Roundtable” where we heard the personal stories of other sellers at various stages of business. There was a housewares company, a home décor company, and a shea butter company. Each with different origin stories and challenges, but one common thread: building a scalable and profitable business using Fulfillment By Amazon.
Hearing these stories was an inspiring way to end the action-packed day. I left the hall with a head full of the possibilities of what Amazon can provide, but with one certainty: selling physical products on Amazon is a huge and growing opportunity that can be the defining opportunity for many entrepreneurs of our generation!
This is me in front of the crowd of 1500 attendees. I can’t wait until this event in 2018, hope to see you there!