Every week as SmallBizLady, I conduct interviews with experts on my Twitter talk show #SmallBizChat. The show takes place every Wednesday on Twitter from 8-9pm ET. This is excerpted from my recent interview with Andrew Morgans, @MarknologyE. Andrew is a thought leader in the Amazon Branding space. He is the founder of Marknology™, a Kanas City-based branding firm. He has worked with over 220 brands, and his strategies have developed drive sales of over $150 million. For more information www.marknology.com
SmallBizLady: What makes a good product to sell on Amazon?
Andrew Morgans: The best products for Amazon are small, lightweight items that have a higher selling price. Higher meaning $50+. That is the most profitable product for Amazon, but all kinds of products are good for Amazon. Thinking creatively, you can make almost any product on Amazon work. One of my most creative was for Chicago Steak Company. We were one of the first companies to be shipping food on dry ice through Amazon.
SmallBizLady: What is one thing you wish sellers knew before hiring you to help them sell on Amazon?
Andrew Morgans: Hiring a consultant or my team is not pressing the easy button. We are going to push you to be better, and spend perhaps where you haven’t before. Amazon probably wasn’t even on your radar, and we are going to show you just how much work goes into making an Amazon account hum.
SmallBizLady: What have the winning sellers done on Amazon to be successful that the failing sellers have not?
Andrew Morgans: They have embraced Amazon as part of their e-commerce ecosystem. They have successfully managed to make Amazon, their social media strategies, and their website work together to get the best possible results. Instead of pitting these against each other, they have found the best ways to make a unified ecosystem within their brand. When you build a brand on Amazon, it has to be tied to the other aspects of your business too.
SmallBizLady: Have you private labeled a product yourself? If yes, was it successful? If no, why not? If yes, why?
Andrew Morgans: Yes, I have. The first time I picked a product and put my brand on it to sell on Amazon, I flopped. I chose a product that I thought was innovative, but it didn’t have enough product differences between the competitors also on Amazon to really stand out. I have built several private label brands since those early days that are doing well, over six figures a month in topline sales.
SmallBizLady: What are the top three software options you use to help you sell on Amazon?
Andrew Morgans: My top three software options would be: Feedback 5 (For reviews), Helium10, (SEO and Reporting), and Teikametrics (Advertising).
SmallBizLady: How do you register a brand on Amazon?
Andrew Morgans: To officially be registered as a brand on Amazon, you must have a trademark. With a trademark, you can apply for something called Brand Registry within Amazon. This gives you control over your brand to be able to protect it, and really be able to tell your story on Amazon, an important element for those who want to build a brand on Amazon.
SmallBizLady: What is FBA, and why is it important?
Andrew Morgans: FBA is an abbreviation for Fulfillment by Amazon. This is Amazon’s massive distribution network that has taken over the US by storm. If you have ever bought something on Amazon and saw the prime badge, this is a product that is within FBA. Any product within FBA has a delivery time of 2 days.
SmallBizLady: What impact do reviews have on Amazon?
Andrew Morgans: Years ago, when I started, reviews were the number 1 deciding factor on a product’s success. There were companies popping up all over the place to facilitate getting reviews on products for brands. After an article in a major magazine was released saying that Amazon was a fraud because all of the reviews were fraudulent, Amazon cracked down hard, removing hundreds of thousands of reviews from listings. Reviews are just as important today; however, the quantity of reviews is not the deciding factor.
SmallBizLady: What is an Amazon Storefront?
Andrew Morgans: An Amazon storefront is a feature that is only available to brands that have registered their trademarks with Brand Registry. If you see a listing on Amazon and see the brand name near the product’s title, click on it. This is a link to the Amazon storefront for that brand. Amazon has given brands the ability to replicate what their brand’s website looks like, and overall, create a better experience for shoppers that are trying to learn more about a brand. You can fill this storefront with additional product videos or brand videos, infographics, and, at the very least, display all of your products in one central location.
SmallBizLady: What is Amazon SEO?
Andrew Morgans: SEO, for those that don’t know, stands for Search Engine Optimization. There are companies all over the world that specialize in SEO on Amazon. By understanding SEO, and having it in place, it helps people searching on Google or other search engines find your website or content. We have figured out how SEO works on Amazon, and similar search engines, to improve websites to get more search results. We do the same for Amazon listings.
SmallBizLady: Is video important for Amazon sellers?
Andrew Morgans: Video is extremely important for Amazon sellers and only available to brands that have obtained Brand Registry. Videos help brands tell the brand’s story to new customers, or explain how to use a product to someone who might be on the fence. It is a huge conversion improvement tool, and there are rumors that Amazon will allow video advertisements on Amazon very soon.
SmallBizLady: How are brands telling their stories on Amazon?
Andrew Morgans: Brands are really telling their stories through all of the ways that they touch customers on Amazon. Whether it is the first picture that draws them to click on a product from search results or the infographic on image 4 that explains the benefits of a product. You have one chance to engage with customers who have tiny attention spans. Show them that you care about your product by spending time informing them about your product, your company, or why they need what you are selling. Invest in a video, invest in applying for a trademark if you don’t have one, setup email software that will send a thank you to customers that have bought from you. We even have several brands that send out handwritten letters to each of their customers. You really can’t do enough when it comes to relationship building and letting the world know what your brand stands for. When you build a brand on Amazon, you have to think about the entire customer journey.
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