The Rich and Vibrant Ecosystem of Amazon
Earlier this month, we headed to Brooklyn, the Amazon sellers capital of the world, for the Amazon Sellers Group annual conference, ASGTG #9, where over 500 Amazon sellers from around the world gathered to share their best practices for how to succeed on Amazon.
Amazon ecosystem is enormous, and can provide crazy reach and automation for sellers. Many of the successful sellers we met had their businesses on autopilot. However, it’s not necessarily easy.
Most category search pages offer a sea of similar products with low to no differentiation or brand. It’s a game of optimization and conversion, with sellers looking for any edge they can get.
The group is a vibrant community with a large variety of sellers including arbitrageurs, resellers, wholesalers, and private sellers at various stages of growth. It’s an absolute HUSTLER community. Most sellers are bootstrapped and extremely scrappy.
In this post, we’ll hear from 7 of these scrappy hustlers.
“Spark Innovations is a line of educational children's games. I am a speech therapist and built it for parents and educators wanting to engage with children and build language and communication skills. I started via word of mouth and education conferences and realized I could reach a wider audience via Amazon. But Amazon owns my customer and I started seeing Chinese copycats, so I built a website. And I am trying to grow the brand outside of Amazon. To get more people back to my website,I am working on a free add-on product available on the website for Amazon buyers.”
David Knopfler from List It Amazon
“I run a listing agency with 2 services: creating a researched and optimized listing and driving traffic to listing pages. We help create the best listings inclusive of copy, imagery, and video. Then we work to optimize with Amazon SEO and PPC. Amazon is super competitive these days. You really have to invest in PPC to be seen. We work with a lot of customers that have millions of dollars in sales and no relationship with and no pulse on their customers. It’s a big pain point.”
Joe Ainy, Founder of Dr. Jacobs Naturals
“I started the business as a side project to fill a need for my son who had eczema. We started on Shopify and then gained distribution across the US. Eventually, we got on Amazon and became a big seller there. We started doing it ourselves and made a lot of mistakes. It’s a full time job, we didn’t have time for. Now we have an agency that helps us. This year we are expanding our product line with 2 more washes and hope to grow our Amazon business.”
Isaac Yoselovsky, reseller of branded products on Amazon.
“We buy branded merchandise directly from the manufacturer and resell Amazon, eBay, Walmart and Overstock. We're competing with many other resellers. We are all vying for the same buyer. We try to stand out with the best price, fastest shipping, positive feedback, and good customer service. Whether it’s a refund or an exchange, we make sure the customer is satisfied and that they have a wonderful experience shopping with us. On Amazon all that communication is via Amazon, but other platforms let us communicate direct with customers.”
Ofir Leonardo Malka, multi-brand private label seller
“I have a few brands including YourDent, Bavarian Knife Works and Super eCaddy. We are on our website (Shopify), Amazon, and in Walmart. Amazon is amazing for reach. For instance, Bavarian Knife Works is relatively new. We are not getting a lot of Amazon sales yet, because the profile needs optimizing, but since we launched Amazon, we are getting a ton of traffic to our site exposing people to the brand and product. But much prefer my own website, where I control everything and truly represent the brand. If I could get more information from Amazon, I would be doing a lot of email promotions, I couldn’t do otherwise.”
Lenny Ash from AZ Seller Kit
“We help sellers automate pricing, which is really important for anyone with Amazon Buy Box competition. Repricing helps you win. Even if you have no competition, we can help sellers modulate test pricing and modulate sales velocity based on supply and demand. This is really difficult to do, especially across many listings. I was a seller myself, selling apparel and realized different sizes and colors had different velocities and pricing could be a lever to slow or speed up sales so we could restock across colors and sizes at the same time. Across 90 variants, it’s not easy so we built software for ourselves. Then I realized the value it would have for other sellers. In the near future, we are hoping to offer our software on Shopify and Walmart online.”
Israel Shushan from AIA Assets
“I have another business buying and selling Amazon seller accounts. Last year we built our own brand, a natural liquid soap. We started a year ago and sales are going pretty well. We definitely want to be able to engage more with customer, and get them to coming back to us. The lack of data we get from Amazon makes that very difficult. Next year we will exploring more ways to engage with our community and grow the brand. Right now, we only have a single product and next year we are looking to expand the brand with other products.”
It was a great learning experience for the BRIJ team. Talking to these sellers and many others, we see opportunities moving in multiple directions.
- DTC and retail sellers looking to build a new long-reaching and high-velocity sales channel.
- Amazon first brands, realizing that being a one-trick pony limits their role to a “seller” which won’t help them win the long.
The consensus is that if a merchant wants to survive in the long term, they will NEED to build a brand. And the BRIJ team is excited to support the growth of Amazon sellers leading the charge in brand building.