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The Biggest Mistakes You Make with Your Amazon Listings
Fahim Naim is the Founder and CEO of eShopportunity, a leading full-service Amazon consulting agency that has helped hundreds of consumer product brands find success online. eShopportunity’s partners include Fortune 500 companies, fresh startups, and everything in between.
Before starting eShopportunity, Fahim held positions as the Senior Vendor Manager at Amazon, the Founder and CEO of SneakPeek Dating, the Summer Associate of Strategy and Operations Consulting at Deloitte, and many others.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- [2:29] Fahim Naim explains how his background at Amazon inspired him to create eShopportunity
- [9:00] What sets eShopportunity apart from other Amazon-focused e-commerce agencies?
- [10:22] Fahim defines split testing — and reveals how it helps sellers create popular products
- [21:18] One of the biggest mistakes Amazon sellers make: trying to “set it and forget it”
- [24:04] How to expand your products and offerings to other marketplaces
- [28:39] Fahim’s tips and tricks for optimizing your reviews and advertising strategy
- [38:09] How to get in touch and start working with eShopportunity
- [36:26] Fahim reveals an exciting new change to the Amazon platform
In this episode…
So, you’ve created a top-notch product that you are confident will become a best-seller on Amazon. Now what?
Some e-commerce entrepreneurs and Amazon sellers think that their products will simply sell themselves — no need to spend extra money on advertising, SEO, and verified reviews. However, according to e-commerce expert Fahim Naim, the key to growing your brand on Amazon is this: optimize your listings and invest in advanced marketing strategies. By seeking to perfect every aspect of your product listings and prioritizing proven advertising campaigns, your brand will become a key player on Amazon in no time. So, how can you start to grow your Amazon store today using Fahim’s tried-and-true strategies?
In this episode of the Quiet Light Podcast, Joe Valley sits down with Fahim Naim, the Founder and CEO of eShopportunity, to discuss best practices for growing and scaling a successful — and sellable — Amazon store. Listen in as Fahim reveals why eShopportunity is different from other e-commerce agencies, how to avoid the common mistakes that could wreck your brand, and the importance of optimizing your Amazon listings and implementing proven marketing methods today. Stay tuned!
Resources Mentioned in this episode
- Fahim Naim on LinkedIn
- Quiet Light
- Quiet Light on YouTube
- Joe Valley
- Mark Daoust
- Quiet Light Podcast email: [email protected]
- The EXITPreneur’s Playbook: How to Sell Your Online Business for Top Dollar by Reverse Engineering Your Pathway to Success by Joe Valley
- Shawn A. Hussain
Sponsor for this episode…
This episode is brought to you by Quiet Light, a brokerage firm that wants to help you successfully sell your online business.
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Hi, folks, it’s the Quiet Light Podcast where we share relentlessly honest insights, actionable tips, and entrepreneurial stories that will help founders identify and reach their goals.
Joe Valley 0:29
Fahim, gave some really fantastic nuggets at the end of the podcast, some under the radar changes that Amazon has made in the last few weeks, I would highly recommend you listening through to the end or you got to skip to the end because you can’t get through the whole thing. definitely get to the end, there’s some nuggets there will make a big difference in terms of directly communicating with customers when they give you a negative review. And also being able to reach out to customers to let them know that you have a new, you know, v2 version two of your product. He talks about that that had been in the last four or five minutes of the podcast. Hey, folks, Joe Valley here. Thanks for joining me for another episode of the Quiet Light Podcast today. I’ve got Fahim Naim on the podcast. He’s been with me before we talked about vendor central versus Seller Central. But he does run an agency that does all sorts of amazing things called eShopportunity company, an agency that we just purchased as well. So he’s got some experience on the sell side as well as building up a large staff and helping Amazon sellers. behave. Welcome back to the Quiet Light Podcast. Appreciate it. Thanks, Joe. Thanks for having me. Good to have you here. I didn’t do the self pitch of brought to you by you know Quiet Light brokerage folks. You know that m&a, m&a firm for online businesses only. And my new product placement here if you’re watching the video, isn’t that beautiful back there Fahim. That’s the great book. I’m about halfway done. I love it. Beautiful. He’s talking about The Exitpreneur’s Playbook. I launched it a couple of weeks ago, folks, and we hit the Amazon bestseller space in seven categories, I think and things going on while helping lots of people. And that’s the goal. That’s the goal of this podcast as well. And that’s the goal of having Fahim on as well. So thank you for coming back with us and joining. Why don’t you give the folks that are listening to deeper and more thorough background on who you are and what you do over there.
Fahim Naim 2:29
Absolutely. So a little bit about myself, I used to be a category manager at Amazon, I managed one of their largest categories globally. And what I call the super sexy category, computer components and peripherals grew to just under about a billion dollar category and I managed to T boat buyers have been the mentors as part of that I ended up leaving Amazon a few years back for a number of different reasons. I started a dating app on the side because I moved down to the Bay Area and I felt like that was a requisite to live in San Francisco. And then more importantly, I started consulting person, former vendors at the time had some tremendous success scaling them on Amazon really gave me some excitement and passion and being on the other side of the table, helping a plant grow and getting my skin in the game a little bit more. One thing led to another that project worked out really well the first one got introduced some really large brands, we’ve worked with brands like slimfast, Sanders, Norton, antivirus, P and wine and a number of other larger brands. And then, about three years ago, we wanted to focus on working with direct to consumer brands a little bit more, we really love what’s happening off of Amazon, all these DC brands being born and AV testing on a regular basis and optimizing conversion. I felt like I was missing a little bit on Amazon. And a lot of Amazon especially when we started this several years back was a lot of black hat tactics, a lot of shortcuts and hacks. But for that seven or eight figure DTC brand that’s building something exciting that’s looking for a turnkey operator on Amazon. They want to do things the right way. They don’t want their account to be gone and six months from now. So they’re going to be a little bit more conservative on inserts and friends and family reviews and whatnot. And that’s where we felt like we can be immensely helpful. So we’ve been partnering with a number of leading DTC brands to do and Exploding Kittens nectar mattress, homozygous coconut water, glam netic, Sun basket meal kits, etc, etc. The bunch of hodgepodge of categories, but what’s important to us is a brand that’s building something very interesting. Somebody who’s looking for in most cases a turnkey operator that wants to be part of a partnership to grow Amazon together and wants to take it to the next level. And we do all the blocking and tackling. We do all the catalog file updates and all the unsexy stuff every node is necessary. But we’re also thinking about how do we take this $5 million business and make it 10 million or 10 on in this business make a 20 million. Is it Seller Central and vendor central? Whether it skews What’s about pricing 20% off doesn’t mean 20% off on Amazon can be a bunch of different things, a 20% coupon is different than a 20% best deal or lightning deal in terms of actual impacts even? What’s the right promotional strategy, etc, etc. And that’s where we get knee deep, and we want to be the best there is for four wraps. I guess fast forward, I’ll give you a little bit of update. Earlier this year, we were looking to fill some holes, we got a number of brands, ask us huzi shopping to medium Walmart, or can you help us out with target? Or what about instacart? And I somewhat naively threw my hands up and said, Well, we want to be the best there is and one channel that was solely focused on Amazon, but also realize that we’re doing a disservice to our brands that are asking that question. So we are fortunate to find a partner that acquired us earlier this year called advantage solutions. They, when I met them, they said we’re the biggest company you’d never heard of. And I started researching and it’s kind of true thing. But now we’re different agencies before about the digital side. They have some really cool things that stores and they are a market leader and helping brands expand into the Walmarts. And the targets and activating media and the retail media networks getting yours your content syndicated across different channels, thinking about how to get on a Kroger and HGTV and all those different local grocers without having to start from scratch, which is exactly what we were looking for. We want to make sure that we continue to be what we think the best there is on what we do on Amazon, but we want to be able to help our brands on their marketplaces at the same time and living that that transition right now.
Joe Valley 6:46
So that’s pretty exciting, you know, to to to be able to work with one company that’s going to lead them to partner companies within the brand, the overall brand there to go beyond Amazon, right? It’s tough to be one agency that can do it all. But to be able to go beyond Amazon to Walmart, Target, and retail things of that nature is pretty exciting. Sticking with the EXITpreneur process, right, you are an expert, you sold your business. How long did you build the business before you did the deal last spring?
Fahim Naim 7:20
I started eShopportunity somewhat casually in 2015, I think became a lot more serious in about 2017 and sold it February of this year, February 2021. So that’s a good for probably four ish years of an A true scale or both feet in it was a full time gig and not just a side hustle. So somewhere in that range of three, four years. That’s it,
Joe Valley 7:45
how big staffing wise did the agency get? before?
Fahim Naim 7:50
Yeah, we were about a dozen, we kept it really, really lean for a number of different reasons, we probably should have been three times the size. But again, I I was probably I read enough of books like the entrepreneurthat talks about focus in my life that I said, started a save note a lot more brands, we said yes to terms of who would work with and how we would best add value. So we wanted to take a really, really slow and we want to be knee deep. And everything can do before we started adding some of that scale. So kept it very manageable, almost a fault. And now I think it’s where the rubber hits the road, we now have a partner that has scaled agencies and helps me take my training wheels off a little bit and really think about staffing, scaling your services in a more meaningful way. But I waited to the last possible second i was i always waited to the glass was more than twice full before adding the next person.
Joe Valley 8:48
That’s a tough thing to manage right there. So expertise wise, you know, what’s the one thing that eShopportunity does better than you know any other Amazon focused agency?
Fahim Naim 9:00
I think we get really, really deep like when we talk to all the different partners at Amazon. And we get a ton of leads from different teams at Amazon. We’re a strategic partner for Amazon advertising and yada yada. We work with vendor manager as we look at a bunch of different teams. The one thing that continues to come up is people from Amazon saying we haven’t met anybody that’s as deep across the board. Like we’re less about the light touch and to each its own. I’m sure there’s a ton of great agencies out there that have different focus. For us. We rather do everything we’re creating FBA shipments, we’re telling you how to package your products when you’re importing it to minimize costs. Were scheduling shipments were going through chargeback process. We’re doing all of the blocking and tackling in terms of day to day and listing variations, issues and whatnot. We’re doing all the advertising, like we’re one of the largest advertisers on Amazon now. All and across across the board on we’re doing a lot of different things on that SEO and like outside of luck exactly where every month we want to AV test something. Is it organic coconut water? Or is it coconut water organic and whatever you direct better for? How do we increase our conversion from 26%? To 27%?
Joe Valley 10:15
Let’s jump right in there on on split testing, because it’s something that’s come up in conversations with myself and some other folks recently. Why don’t you first define what a B split testing is for the audience?
Fahim Naim 10:25
Absolutely. It’s when you’re testing two different items, keeping everything else the same, and trying to get some measurable impact on what happened. So for example, we have a hypothesis that this title will sound better than this title, or this main image, it just looks better, it has to perform better. Usually your gut is right. And I’ve done this long enough that my gut, my gut is right more often than it’s not, that’s not always the case. And clients also want some some actual data, and what’s meaningful, it wasn’t a meaningful impact. And how quickly can you tell I’m having this as this main title, or this, this set of five bullets that are longer that have the caps in the front versus this set of bullets that are shorter and get to the point sweeter? And then this a plus content that’s a lot more tech savvy, it has all the information on this one, it’s a lot more visual, and it’s better on each one of those items one by one.
Joe Valley 11:24
How long has this been an option that’s been available on Amazon inside the seller account?
Fahim Naim 11:30
Not very long. Officially, there’s been a number of external tools like Splitly, and other tools that have existed, Amazon has started off, they started off with a plus content about a year ago, because in my mind, everything’s about a year ago, although it’s a bit shorter longer than that. And then they started expand a little bit more than not allowed titles and made images. There. Clearly, we’ve done a line of providing brands more or missing for the
Joe Valley 11:56
for the audience that, you know, wants to do this on their own, where do they find that inside their seller account
Fahim Naim 12:03
manager, your customer engagement or manager experiments is typically what is called MY II. So if you are a brand owner, which is the term that Amazon use, meaning that you have Brand Registry to the brand dashboard, you’ll see a number of different tools like manager engagement, it looks a little bit different on vendor Central. But if you search manager engagement, regardless of the drop down, you should be able to find it. The old school way to do this. And what we did before I was on hand, this out is gonna leverage extra tools or where we we look at pageviews, we look at conversion, we look at traffic, we’re looking at sales we’re looking at, oftentimes, depending on a test, we’re looking at two weeks leading up to that test. And two weeks after that test, we’re looking at averages to see has conversion have gone up has traffic gone up? What else is going on during that time period, if you’re running a promo, we want to be aware of that. Because we know that it can have a meaningful impact. You try to keep things as constant as possible, you try to change only one thing at a time. It’s always tempting to say let me just rush this, and I’m gonna update my titles and my bullets and my images and amplus all at the same time. And sometimes it’s not a bad idea. But if you really want to measure the impact, you want to go one at a time, get the get the reporting to prove out that it’s working and move on to the next thing.
Joe Valley 13:19
That’s risky. I think it’s really risky to go ahead and change everything because you think you know better. I know I made that mistake before and, you know, swore off of doing that ever again. And anytime I’m going to switch up ads, I always want to do split testing, because I’m not the guy that gets it right all the time. I’m the guy that thinks he’s going to get it right and and more often than not the customer is looking for something else.
Fahim Naim 13:40
Absolutely. The other quick aside is we’ve had brands that try to update a bunch of things just before Black Friday, or Prime Day or Cyber Monday because I’m testing early, which is update everything. And that’s been in some cases disastrous for one you don’t want to change your game plan right before the holiday unless you have so naturally data or two, it’s never a good idea to change anything before. Before big holiday. Anytime you refresh your listing, it can be the stupidest thing. You’re updating your bullets to add a period on to it. Your assessment for the box. Yeah, you suspect to the box. We’ve had things like a brand made really small update and that their product didn’t become discoverable on Black Friday. And after researching why the product got flagged as an adult product. And even though had nothing to do with being an adult’s product, it’s a lot of times you make those updates something the back end happens or your for your product got flagged as being a pesticide even though you didn’t change anything. You didn’t add any new information. You just made a small change something refreshing the backend and cause you’re you’re listening to it. So
Joe Valley 14:46
how much time would you would you advise anyone listening to give between that holiday event and actually updating anything at all?
Fahim Naim 14:54
typically two weeks is best practice because you want to have some time to troubleshoot in case you can’t find it. We have some brands I got to get as close as one week, I think anything within one week is very dangerous. And again, we’ve done this hundreds of rounds. And I can tell you a good portion of the time, it’s taken more than a day to figure out exactly what happened, how come Amazon won’t even tell you like sometimes you know, you listen sticking out, or sometimes a listing looks alive, but it’s no longer available in organic search. So your ads are running, but all of a sudden, you see your sales are down your page views down. And when you start searching for those key terms, you’re like, Whoa, I can’t find it anymore. Oftentimes, when that happens, it is something like the product got flagged for the dog product. We’ve worked with things like singing bowls before that had gotten flagged for dog products, we work with supplements, we work with products that have nothing to do and renew or with some matoke products as well. But we even if has nothing to do with it, pesticides, adult products, there’s a handful of different things like that. One, Amazon’s scanning through 500 million products just on amazon.com alone, and maybe the numbers a little bit higher. Now. Even if they’re Six Sigma, in terms of being correct, there’s always going to be that one off where they incorrectly flagged your product. So yeah, one to two weeks is probably the minimum amount of time I
Joe Valley 16:12
would suggest I like to sell like this, you know, split testing got to do it, in my opinion, really important. Now we know where to where to find it inside of Seller Central. Never ever make an update, you know, within a week of a big event, preferably Wait, you know, give a two week window. What other things have you seen in your days here, where people just make huge mistakes that hurt them financially or just suppress their listings or reduce their conversion rate.
Fahim Naim 16:39
I mean, I think, oftentimes, not following Amazon’s rules and Amazon’s rules are always very vague. So like, You’re not supposed to have text on your main image. You’re in bullets. This is a big one. But everybody does
Joe Valley 16:53
that everybody’s text on the main image, you can see it all the time. So if they’re doing
Fahim Naim 16:59
exactly what you’re assessing, wait to the bottom. And if you’re a big seller, you’re potentially going to get flagged before somebody else says or because we recently updated, you may get flagged for somebody else. Another good example is having capital caps in your bullets became very commonplace on Amazon, having caps as the first four or five words that were for line long, SEO rich bullet so that you’re discoverable and you’re clicking all those terms, officially, that’s not allowed. There’s been a ton of rounds. And last six months, many brands we work with best sellers, like they’re doing $30 million a year on a nascent type sellers, and even some that are doing a couple of million dollars a year that all of a sudden out of nowhere got taken down. When you look into the reason it’s because you had caps in your bullets. And that’s been a rule that Amazon has officially had for years that nobody’s actually followed. But now that you start hearing and you go on the forum, and you see that it’s starting to happen, I would be cautious. And I would go ahead and start updating some of those things that you know, clearly you’re not supposed to be doing because even though you’ve done it for years, Amazon is not always the most forgiving in terms of the implementation of some of these rules. And no one can you split test
Joe Valley 18:08
that change Fahim? Or is it something you just got to make a change,
Fahim Naim 18:12
you can set a split test. But I’ve seen we’ve personally dealt with at least a dozen brands that listings have been taken down fat and caps in the bullet. So to me, that means Amazon’s making a big switch, and they don’t always do it all at once. But sooner rather than later is probably the way to do it. And then catch some cases, get some cases, if it’s split testing, I love the idea in terms of improving conversion. But if you know there’s a risk of your account going down or a sink going down, it’s better to be safe than not. I think in many of those scenarios, everybody has their own balance on how aggressive they want to be. But knowing your love, you want to take the caps off, your listing is taken down your flat follow up, it doesn’t work. And Amazon says you can’t have caps if you’re trying to outdo the captain, that doesn’t mean you update it so many times.
Joe Valley 19:00
That’s That’s how is that how you find out? Find out why you’re listening to taken down because you try to upload a new file to get it back up. Like how does it communicate with you? Maybe it’s a stupid question. But how do you
Fahim Naim 19:11
consider it? It’s a great question. So it’s different. Amazon’s not the best at letting you know what their piece is. I think many sellers will know oftentimes we find out because we work very closely with different teams at Amazon that are able to take a look into an account and it’s more visibility My team is spending half of their time calling in Seller Central and kind of the whole Verizon or Comcast model they hang up until they find somebody that seems like they they’re able to answer the question and after pounding the pavement I would have been more than like oh yeah, is that one word that you use? There’s a word in your your bullets that is getting flagged for being pesticide and you’re like what protects was the word like literally I use the word protects and now you thought my product that’s a food product has pesticides in it just gonna happen where they protects you from. So oftentimes does take pounding the pavement, I would have been more than
Joe Valley 20:06
this. It’s funny because I did a podcast recently. And the same is a similar theme writes, this kind of this kind of work isn’t rocket science, it’s just really hard work. Like, you guys are spending two thirds of the time on calls trying to get through to the right person on Amazon, right? years ago, you know, back in like 2016, I wrote 10 steps to selling your Amazon business, because no one believed you could, right? No one believed that. You know, it just says there, you know, it’s against terms of services. And I had to call Amazon a dozen times, like you’re talking about to get the right person on the phone to say, Oh, yeah, no, you can. Yeah, here’s how you do that. Like, okay, would you mind sending me an email telling me how to transfer control of that seller account? Of course, there you go. You know, you just got a call enough times to get to the right person to give you the right direction and help you out. Which is very, very frustrating. I could this is I love the golden nuggets like this. What else do you see? And that’s just crushing people’s, you know, hopes and dreams when they’re when they’re trying to build a business that maybe is all eventually exit.
Fahim Naim 21:15
So set it and forget it. I think many people already understand the people that in the day to day, but Amazon is not a set it and forget it. You just because your ads were working last month, don’t mean didn’t work this month, just because you got this amount of sales now doesn’t mean that you can’t touch I think you got to constantly be thinking about where can I optimize? And how do I continue to make sure that nothing’s broken half of it, or some portion of it, if it’s not half of the day to day is blocking and tackling somebody messed up with your listing, you got one negative customer reviews, saying that your product was useful is new, because every product on Amazon will get that complaint regardless what it is, etc, etc. So you got all this blocking and tackling that you need to make sure that you’re immediately in front of and then all the kind of continuously adjusting the competitors typically are different scenarios they’re trying. The title was the bullets, the keywords, the pricing, the external traffic, review optimization, updating those seller labs and feedback, genius email templates to try to see to get more reviews, they got a bunch of different things that they’re testing. So I think for the person that wants to make sure that they’re continuously going this business, I think they already get this but but to pay lip service to Amazon is not a set it and forget it model. And I think sometimes as people scale they forget that. To be frank, when I started this consultancy, this was five or six years ago, before most of these other EMS agencies were out there, I thought we were going to be a lot of like launch a brand transition that from seller to vendor vendor to seller, redo their, their their detail pages, whatnot, and be done with it, and move on to the next one. And we are working with a number of brands that we’ve been working with for 2345 years at this point that we launched and I felt we’re going to be short term engagement but but like quickly, we all realize there’s so much on a day to day that you absolutely have to be on top of you got to be removing your seller feedback, you got to make sure that you understand what’s the latest and greatest every day, there’s some kind of update on Amazon advertising that you need to be out in front of etc. So I think getting too complacent on Amazon is one that we sometimes see with some brands, or sometimes larger companies are like, Oh, you know what, we’re gonna update our content once a year and nothing, nothing is broken. Why don’t we just keep things the same? that’s working. I
Joe Valley 23:37
heard my father say if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Once I heard it 1000 times that doesn’t necessarily apply anymore, because you’re competitive. Really fighting? Yeah, absolutely. What about what about going beyond .com? And how difficult is it? What do you guys do in that arena? And is there a standard country where you go to first if it’s starting off on .com?
Fahim Naim 24:03
Yeah, absolutely. I think the easiest one where we typically recommend is Canada for a couple of different reasons. Sometimes Mexico which I’ll talk about in a second. And then depending on the brand’s desires, the UK, although things got a little bit more complicated because of Brexit, Germany, and then Australia, Japan, etc. Usually, I think many brash start off with English speaking countries because because of some of the ease, although Amazon has started building some automatic translations and some other things to make the process a little bit easier. Canada is probably not going to for most brands rock your boat, but it can be anywhere between five to 15% of your total US sales. Oftentimes with a lot less work. Depending on how you want to do it. There’s even Easy, easy ways to launch your products onto Canada, leveraging the inventory that’s at Amazon. So if you don’t want to go through and jump two feet in one night, get the Canadian business number and do it Registration, you can actually there’s a couple of different programs that I was on to lightweight model get you live on Canada and Mexico with longer shipping times, but you don’t have to do anything else. And that’s sometimes a good first step. So I’d say you many brands now, I’ve been thinking about additional marketplaces for a while, I don’t think that many have actually started acting on it. And I think it’s a great time, Canada has been so far behind the US for so long, but at some point, you will catch up. And we’re starting to see that it’s still very cheap from an advertising perspective versus Amazon in the US, and you hear how expensive ads in the US are much more we’ve seen in the US than even UK, Germany, which are great markets for Amazon. So Canada is an easy one doesn’t require a whole lot of work. UK does require a little bit more work, but most of its setup, and if you work with the right partner, you can get your VAT number, you can get all the shipments set to the UK, you can have all the aces linked to the US. So all your images and content are updated. And then the big kicker that I think a lot of brands Miss is Amazon Bluetooth, global reviews, I’ll call it somewhere around a year ago, just because again, there’s probably somewhere in that range. And that is a massive and what that is, and I think it should have gotten a lot more attention. Because before used to get 500 reviews in the US, when you launch in a different country, let’s say Canada or UK. Depending on the country, Amazon at the beginning will say 500 reviews from the US. But once you cross over 30 or 40 reviews, then it’ll reset and just show you the Canada reviews. So like all that if you had 6000 reviews in the US, you lose a lot of equity. And you’re almost starting from scratch in many cases UK, and Canada. But when I was going to this global ratings being merged now in the US, you can see your reviews across all different countries. But that means also when you launch in UK and Canada, you can leverage a lot of the success in the US. I think that’s huge for brands that
Joe Valley 27:00
I didn’t know that, you know, I just launched the book a few weeks ago, and I’ve got a few international reviews. So it does say us at the top and then it says international reviews at the bottom. And it’s interesting because I had somebody in Australia on a call and they were sharing their screen. And, you know, there were there were something like 39 reviews, which at the time was, you know, not what I had much more than that in the US. But so it seemed like it was pulling through some of them, but not all of them. But it’s better than zero, that’s for sure.
Fahim Naim 27:32
Yeah. And it could just be thinking thing, but everything, a big portion of it will start making it depending on kind of setup and some of those things. But the good news is that it makes it a lot easier in many scenarios. It also depends if you have the same ad set or not and and how it was set up and some of those things, so devils in the details. But generally speaking, let’s say the other marketplaces are not that difficult, and you probably already have a pretty good feel when you’re under us. So I think expanding those other marketplaces is oftentimes
Joe Valley 28:02
I just muted you by mistake here, folks, this is the first time I’ve ever done this. Fahim ask you unmute yourself. There you go. Perfect. I like what you’re saying. It’s all good, they’re gonna beat me. I had I had a handful of peanuts before the show, folks. So don’t ever do that when you’re podcasting because you have to put yourself on mute and cough a lot. What else would you suggest somebody that’s new to the space doing a million in revenue that may not be ready for an agency yet? What should they be focused on?
Fahim Naim 28:39
Quality is the most important and I think like what, what what was that view quality, reviewing quality. So continuing to expand reviews. Obviously, those are extremely, extremely important. And thinking about the long term as long as well as the short term. Oftentimes I talk to brands that are heavily armed and say, why would I run this promotion and only make $1 unit, I’m doing this and might as well not run that time day promotion. And make a little bit more money. And again, everybody to a degree to each its own. But at the end of the day, if you’re newer brand and you can now pay for 1000s hundreds of verified actual real reviews and get a boost in your rankings and get a lot more visibility to customers and you’re not losing money doing and forgetting how much money you’re making doing it. Why not help your conversion rate, it will help you in the long run. It helped me move out rankings etc. Similarly, with advertising. Everybody has a different viewpoint on advertising and how much money you should be making on some of it. And again, I’m not here to say that every brand should be losing a ton of money on Amazon. I think the way people look at advertising on Amazon is short sighted compared on DTC when you talk to the 789 figure brands that are Building really strong businesses off of Amazon, they’re talking about cost per acquisition, they’re talking about customer lifetime value, they don’t always make money in that first purchase. There’s a lot of products, where you don’t make money on that first purchase. But because that repeat rate is so high, you know that it’s well worth it. Problem is, so many times when we work with brands, some brands that are doing a ton of volume, some letters are smaller. When they look at it, they will you know, 30% a cost sounds way too high, I’m not gonna make money doing this, I need to spend less, but they’re not looking at kind of, well, that customer on average, if you look at download all the reports is buying 36 times a year. And not only are you thinking about the margins incorrectly, for a number of different reasons, you’re not looking at your customer lifetime value as part of it. So maybe it makes sense to go to 80% a cost on that first purchase as long as you can actually retain that customer. And are you calculating that appropriately. And comparing essentially your cost per acquisition presumed lifetime value. For DTC brands, they get this like when we were with these, the like the natives and the glam medics and the nepotism was they get it, they’re like, here’s my CPA, this is what I can spend, here’s my promotions, etc. But I don’t think many on emerging or leading DTC brands really think about that. And we work with some like really 30 4050 100 million dollar brands on Amazon that kind of hint at it. But I think they leave way too much money on the table, because they’re a little bit focused on on this one transaction, I’m only going to make 50 cents per unit on this one ad, I’m going to start losing money on that customer, they’re not looking at what percentage of customers that need a brand? And how many of those are subscribing, and what’s their SEO rank for that term? Etc, etc. So I think you got to think about both the short term because like you got to keep the bills you got to keep the lights on. But more importantly, the minute long term, how do you how do you make sure that you’re building a successful business on both now and something that’s going to scale and months from now, because if you’re maximizing the margin from every sale too early on, my guess is you’re probably leaving a ton of money on the table in the long run.
Joe Valley 32:07
Gotcha. Makes sense. But what’s the onboarding process, like at eShopportunity, if a person is listening now and they want to reach out and have a call, what’s the onboarding process like?
Fahim Naim 32:17
You know, we’re very personal, we don’t have like a overly complex over onboarding process where you talk to 17 people before myself where the VP talks to you depending on the brand that’s reaching out and what they’re looking for, I have a couple of emails back and forth. And we’ll have an initial call and talk about what their pain points are. And when we can provide we send a proposal we get going. So like we, we again, would rather make sure that we get a good feel for what the Browns looking for. And sometimes we’re upfront saying you know what, we’re not going to play in that blackhat area, that’s what you’re looking for. But great find somebody else for but we’re not we work so closely with different teams that Amazon, we’re not going to put ourselves at risk for things that we know that are not allowed on Amazon. Or sometimes we have brands where you can tell they’re not going to put in the time and energy to make this work. It’s well I’m doing $1,000 a month now I want to do $100,000 a month, I got a $2,000 advertising budget, that you can you can move around helped me grow this business. So you got three months to do it. Like you can kind of tell some of those I’ve done this enough times where I can tell early on that, well, you don’t sell on any other platform. And this is a 3.6 star product. We need more work than there’s no silver bullet, or magic bullet to make some of this happen. So we’re pretty good, we’re pretty easy in terms of finding fit and moving quickly. And while we do get signed with brands, we’d like to move quickly.
Joe Valley 33:45
What should they do? If anybody’s listening now? How would they reach you? Should they just go to eshopportunity.com? Are
Fahim Naim 33:51
eshopportunity.com, there’s a contact form there, reach out to me on LinkedIn or email me directly if you don’t hear back. But that’s usually the best way to make sure that we do and we’re pretty quick at getting back and we want to make sure again, it’s a good fit, we, again, are stubborn and sometimes to say that we want to make sure that we’re working with the right types of brands they’re gonna grow. But we’re really excited again, that we can now take some of these brands off of Amazon as it makes sense. So some of the questions I think that will start coming up is what other channels that you want and what are some of your goals? And do you have the right amount of inventory to support some of this and if all the boxes ship, love to love to have a conversation,
Joe Valley 34:29
it sounds like a true partnership. For sure Fahim. So folks that are listening, go to eShopportunity.com Click the Contact Us button or you look at the services page. There’s so many different things there and it really doesn’t talk about you know, going beyond and off Amazon which is a big part of what you can do now. He has connected with a lot of folks that we know if any of you have ever sold or bought a business through us You might have heard of Shawn Hussein down at he comm Law Group Fahim. What’s your relationship to Shawn
Fahim Naim 34:59
know that Guy very lifts my my first cousin who I give a hard time to, but I talk to you all the time and I’m a big fan of what he’s doing and
Joe Valley 35:09
yeah, Sean’s a good guy you’ve mentioned native a few times we know Moyes Moyes is the one folks that sold native to, I want to say Procter and Gamble, but I’m gonna get that wrong. But now you’re ready. Yeah, nine figures. Great brand to follow great product. Great brand, folks, if you haven’t tried it, you should try it. And then we’re all connected with our buddy Ramon down there in Austin as well. So good group of folks. Yeah,
Fahim Naim 35:33
Sam for from hustle got adventure, common common friends, long list of good people, for sure. So
Joe Valley 35:41
I’ll reach out to Fahim. At the very least you’re going to learn, right, you’re going to learn what you’re doing right, you’re gonna learn what you’re doing wrong, you don’t have to, it’s almost like talking to a broker, you should have that call. Because you’re going to learn if anybody’s trying to, you know, as I say, with brokers, if anybody’s trying to get you signed engagement letter on the first call, then just disconnect the call, right? It should be a conversation, we’re going to learn more than anything else. And then you can make a decision, and I think behaves the same way he and his team are there to help. So check out eshopportunity.com, hopefully, that’s going to help you folks get beyond Amazon as well learn a little bit about sender seller, central versus vendor Central, and maybe a hybrid model. That’s something that’s big these days as well. Anything that I’m missing here Fahim.
Fahim Naim 36:26
One final nugget so that users have it is Amazon made a really big change that went under the radar last week, you can now for brand owners message customers that have left you a negative review before, which is massive. So previously, there was no way officially there’s all these services, they could try to scrape and find an order ID, which which had mixed success. And then a while ago, you can respond publicly to reviews kind of like you would on Yelp. But Amazon took that away a couple months ago. But about last week, they under the radar, introduced within brand analytics or within the brand dashboard, you can send a message directly to somebody that like few critical review, one star, two star, three star, Amazon does have some parameters there. There’s like some templated responses that you can have. But you can now actually talk to some of those customers like, which I think is huge. And like I don’t know why Amazon didn’t pound their chest and say this is a massive uptick because brands have been asking for this for a while. And the thing is, Amazon does this kind of stuff all the time, like they, they take heat for antitrust, and they’re pushing their own products and whatever. But they come up with a really cool feature that 99% of brands don’t hear. But there’s another feature that Amazon just introduced called manager customer engagement. You can if a brand, if a customer follows you, you can have an email sent to them saying, Hey, I have a new product. Amazing. That’s awesome. That will eventually move from following the random purchase person who’s already bought your product. But like that’s another feature of many DTC or private label brands have been asking about for a while I have a v2, but I didn’t know where to get it out in front and get in front of the customer. That’s been around for two months. Now. That’s, you know, there’s like, I think, again, like there’s so many things moving on the Amazon side, like if you’re all in whether you’re working with an agency, or you’re doing this in house, like stay on top of the news, like in the news section all the time. I’m in every ecommerce forum, I subscribe to maybe two dozen newsletters that we read every day to learn about the latest and greatest. And sometimes teams on Amazon give us a heads up before some of that stuff exists as well. But I think both of those are long for parameters that Lisa has something actionable that you can take out in this podcast that I think can actually have a pretty meaningful impact on your business. So
Joe Valley 38:51
that’s awesome. Awesome. Appreciate your time Fahim. Thank you. Thanks for coming back on. We’ll talk to you. Appreciate it. Thanks so
Today’s podcast was produced by Rise25 and the Quiet Light content team. If you have a suggestion for a future podcast subject or guest, email us at [email protected] Be sure to follow us on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram and subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next week.