When I started this company in late 2008, early 2009 the concept of what I wanted to do wasn’t even a thing yet. I was having trouble describing the business model to insurance agents and even clients because it was so foreign. A contract ecommerce sales manager or ecommerce manufacturer’s representative. These were some of the terms being heavily used at the time within the CPG industry for this type of position. In the first decade of the 2000’s the traditional method of retail was still dominant, but somewhere around 2006 or 2007 when the housing market and economy started booming e-commerce was just beginning to spread its wings and fly. This is about the time when I began to dabble in 3rd party marketplaces outside of eBay. The online payment protection and encryptions just started to get decent, and consumers started to feel comfortable entering their credit cards on the internet to make purchases. 2008 hit, and the economy was in a tailspin. The American consumer was shaken, jobless rates were spiking, bankruptcy was increasing, and so were foreclosures. This superstorm of poor economic conditions created a scenario where the consumer was looking for value, I saw this online and entered at the very point in time when e-commerce (and Amazon.com) began to skyrocket. Free shipping, lower prices, cost conscience audience. By 2010 Amazon was becoming the front runner within ecommerce retail and I was well positioned to take the bull by the horns. Now how did I see this trend before it occurred? How was I so well positioned, Was it luck?
The answer is no, and this is one of the pieces an Amazon expert must understand in order to be successful. Understanding consumer behavior plays a large role into understanding how to position yourself on Amazon. Fortunately, I have a degree in Marketing and studied consumer behavior heavily in college (UCF class of 2004). Many sellers and even experts never understand this concept of positioning, along with how and why the consumer buys. For all intents and purposes, we will hone in on the Amazon consumer specifically and what you should be looking for in Amazon Consultants before you sign on the dotted line.
Unfortunately, with the rapid growth of Amazon come a lot of coat-tail riders and band waggoners. People who have 2-4 years of experience on the platform, but profess themselves as experts. I will make this one analogy which should hit home for you; Michael Jordan didn’t start playing basketball in college, He started when he could walk. When you are looking for any sort of consultant, you are paying for experience, so why chose an Amazon consultant who lacks that experience? Like professional basketball this is a game where the experience matters for MANY reasons. I will go into a few very common concerns when shopping for a digital sales partner, but the below comment will outline my general point.
Unless you have a lot of experience selling different product types, you won’t understand the segments and you also will not understand the potential conflicts that may arise with that product type.
Brand registry is about 10-12 years old. Before the existing platform was brand registry version 1. The tools were totally different. If you are integrating an old brand that has not been updated, you need to know to look out for this and what the implications are. Ask any e-commerce consultant, amazon marketing agency, or Amazon product consultant how much experience they have using brand registry tools. Also ask what sort of issues have they used brand registry for.