Riverbend Consulting is a company that specializes in helping Amazon sellers who are facing suspension, deactivation, or blocks. They’ve helped thousands of third-party sellers get their accounts and ASINs back up and running again. But they don’t just write form-letter appeals – their team of Amazon experts, including former Amazon employees, digs deep to find the root cause of the problem and develop practical, real-world solutions to improve operational performance and profitability.
And that’s not all. Riverbend Consulting provides ongoing services, including reimbursements to ensure FBA sellers get every dollar Amazon owes them, account management to remove negative feedback and handle customer service across multiple platforms, and seller account protection to monitor and answer performance notifications to keep accounts healthy. They also offer account audits for possible acquisitions and project-based consulting services such as pick-and-pack engineering, warehouse management audits, and customer service audits.
Lesley and her team are not “gurus” or sole proprietors – they manage a team of Amazon sellers, former Amazon team members, and highly skilled consultants who love working with small business clients.
So if you’re an Amazon seller needing an emergency room, Riverbend Consulting is the place to call. Stay tuned for an insightful conversation with Lesley about Amazon selling and her expertise in the field.
Why would I list my product on Buy with Prime by Amazon?
Listing your product on Buy with Prime by Amazon allows your product to be seen by millions of Amazon Prime members. This is a great way to boost your visibility and sales on Amazon.
You’ll also benefit from Amazon’s Prime shipping benefits, which include free two-day shipping and reduced shipping times. Additionally, since Buy with Prime is a program exclusive to Amazon Prime members, you’ll benefit from the increased loyalty of the Prime membership base.
This can help increase sales and build long-term customer relationships. Andrew is the Founder of BlueTuskr, a full-service marketing company for e-commerce sellers. With over 13 years of experience, he has proved himself to be a leader in the field.
Andrew’s entrepreneurial knowledge and success allow him to excel in his industry and help others grow theirs. His knowledge in branding, social media, SEO, web design, graphic design, email marketing, and more, providing exceptional results consistently.
Andrew started his journey in e-commerce marketing 15 years ago, when his dad acquired a company selling car shocks and suspension stuff.
He was interested in the creative side of marketing and was drawn to the immediacy of digital marketing.
He started his own agency while in college to promote his band and other bands and venues.
He pivoted to retail when the music business got ugly and partnered with a family member before getting bought out.
He then started Blue Tusker in early 2020, the name is derived from his love of elephants and his high school colors.
The biggest mistake Andrew sees e-commerce sellers making is being too reliant on Amazon and not knowing where their customers are.
Sellers need to understand that Amazon and off-Amazon are different beasts and that launching a website with a random theme will not bring in sales.
They should test individual areas and have an understanding of where their customers are before investing.
Sellers should not just assume they need to be everywhere on social media and other channels just because they heard about it on a podcast.
Some notable time stamps
[00:16:04] Brent: Suggest creating a strategy and roadmap to pick off the low-hanging fruit first and test what’s working or not.
[00:16:14] Andrew: Guide sellers through testing the waters to diversify away from Amazon safely without spending an arm and a leg.
[00:16:26] Andrew: Create a storefront on Amazon, run ads to the storefront, add a landing page and track the button to see if it converts.
[00:16:49] Andrew: Add a “Buy Now” button and incentives for first time customers to grow the audience list.
[00:17:05] Andrew: Add “Buy with Prime” button to increase conversion rate and credibility.
[00:17:29] Andrew: Test off Amazon traffic before building a website to ensure it converts.
[00:17:44] Andrew: Investment in the beginning is limited to advertising spend and a semi-decent landing page.
[00:18:09] Brent: Benefits of having “Buy with Prime” button is it builds credibility and increases conversion rate.
[00:18:59] Andrew: Building a brand on Amazon is difficult because it’s a pay-to-play platform, but registering a brand
[00:02:42] Brent: Welcome to this episode of Talk Commerce. Today I have Andrew Math tone. Andrew, go ahead introduce yourself. Tell us your day-to-day and maybe one of your passions in life.
[00:02:54] Andrew: Yeah, thanks for having me, Brent. Appreciate it. So I am the founder and and CEO of Blue Tusker. We are a full service digital marketing company for e-commerce.
[00:03:03] Andrew: We essentially act as like an outsource marketing department for the most part. I’m also the host of the e-com show, so I also have my own fun little podcast where I interview other e-commerce sellers. My day-to-day is talking to awesome people like yourself, and then herding cats. At least that’s how it feels.
[00:03:18] Andrew: And then let’s see, one of my passions in life, that’s an interesting one, obviously. I’m, I do this as a job, but I also do this as a hobby. Like I really love doing what I. The difference will be like, on the weekends, I’ll do something that I really wanted to do during the week that I couldn’t get done.
[00:03:33] Andrew: But I know that’s a cop out answer. I’m also a drummer so if I got time I’m, I work outta my house. I work outta my basement, so I’m next to my kit all the time. So I’ll usually walk over and play for a little while, which the neighbors love. And then I got a gold retriever and a Corgi who are my two best friends that I play with all the time.
[00:03:50] Andrew: And my wife, I’m sure my wife’s gonna yell at me for her being laughed, .
[00:03:53] Brent: Yeah. Okay, so you’re my second drummer this week for an interview, which is awesome. There we go. I play piano. I, and my, I used to be in a bedroom in our house from my office. There was a guitar behind me and I always. , oh play piano, but I just can’t get the grand piano on the wall.
[00:04:09] Brent: . Anyways and then it’s hard. I have two dogs as well, so I have a hound, like a lab hound mix. Who’s 13. We uh, we still run together. And then I have a two year old Jack Russell Terrier. So both ends of the energy spectrum. One sleeps 20 hours a day and one is energetic. 20 hours a. . Nice.
[00:04:27] Brent: Before we dive into our content, and I know we’re gonna have some, we’re gonna talk about marketing and e-commerce marketing specifically, and I’m excited to talk about that. I have a little project that I’m working on right now, it’s called The Free Joke Project than I believe there should be more free jokes out there.
[00:04:43] Brent: So I’m gonna tell you a joke, and all you have to do is say, do you think this joke is free? Or do you think we could put it behind a paywall from the, from a software standpoint, is this an open source joke or is this a closed loop joke? Anyways, ready? I’m gonna tell you this joke. You just tell me your feed feedback on it.
[00:05:02] Brent: All right? A dog was drowning in a lake and a German man swam out and pulled it to safety. I asked the man, are you a vet? The man. Am I a vet? I’m soaking
[00:05:15] Andrew: Oh man. It depends on what you’re gonna charge for it. . Wow. I would think that could be free . Yeah, I’d get that. Hook ’em in.
[00:05:24] Brent: Yeah. And I realized that my, my pitch so far is should it be free or should I be charged for it? And it is the free joke. So the goal is to have all these jokes free and let’s be honest, there’s an open ap, there’s an API you can get for dad.
[00:05:38] Brent: If you’re so inclined. Of course there as a developer, you can call an API and you get a dad joke anytime you want. That’s
[00:05:43] Andrew: amazing. Thank you developers for doing doing the hard
[00:05:46] Brent: work, . Absolutely. Andrew, you mentioned herding cats and I am old enough to go, remember going to Comdex in Las Vegas. and a not a now defunct technology company had a fully produced herding cats commercial that they showed on the big screen.
[00:06:05] Brent: That was so funny. It was cats running everywhere and some guy and a cowboy trying to herd cats together. Do you think that herding cats sometimes for business owners, that’s how they see marketing. Like they don’t even know where to. .
[00:06:21] Andrew: Yeah, that’s actually a very interesting way to put that.
[00:06:24] Andrew: Maybe that’s why I feel that way. And it’s a really good point. Depends on like the direction you’re, it depends on your business and all these other 10 different things, but that’s usually the biggest problem, especially if they’re first starting off, is like there’s so much you can do between like email and then social.
[00:06:39] Andrew: And then which social platform are you on in paid ads? Which paid advertising platform are you on? What content are you gonna run? What keywords are you gonna target? Should you do seo? How should you do seo? Should you try influencer marketing affiliate like it. It’s exhausting even trying to do that as a bit.
[00:06:50] Andrew: But yeah, I would imagine that’s gotta be a very similar feeling.
[00:06:54] Brent: If, I just of gave away my age, actually I didn’t, if people don’t know what convicts was then they don’t even actually know how old I am. I’m in my, I’m in my early twenties and I have a 27 year old daughter, so that kind of gives you my age.
[00:07:05] Brent: Interesting. How did you get started in marketing and what made you interested in it? .
[00:07:09] Andrew: So I started in marketing, specifically in e-commerce marketing actually a little over 15 years ago, which is always insane to tell someone cuz they’re like, that was it a thing 15 years ago. But it was, so my dad actually acquired a they sold like shocks car shocks and suspension stuff and it was some small, like nothing company, I think they were.
[00:07:30] Andrew: Maybe might even be clearing six figures a year if that. But they were all just like local and they’d go to like car dealerships and stuff. And my dad was involved in like cars.com and all this fun stuff years and years ago. And so he wanted to buy this company and put it online. And so I ended up, I always knew I wanted to be in marketing.
[00:07:49] Andrew: I don’t really know why. It was really more specific like advertising. And so I, once he bought this company, I was like, I want to, I wanna learn how to do this stuff. And he goes, okay, I need help in the warehouse. If you do that, I will also teach you how to do the marketing side. So I had help in the warehouse during the, like beginning of the day and kind of help with prepping orders and stuff.
[00:08:08] Andrew: But then I would work in the office and I’d work with some of the marketing team. They were actually one of the first companies to get offered to sell on Amazon besides books. So right when they started getting away from books, they were one of the first ones. and that was where it was Rick.
[00:08:23] Andrew: He said, by the way, he said no. Which is like my favorite thing to make fun of him for. But that, it started back then and it was really interesting cause I always wanted to get into advertising. I thought it was really creative and really fun. But then when I got into more on the digital side, it was really interesting how it was almost like a game to me.
[00:08:39] Andrew: Cuz it was like immediate. You would do something and it would more or less be immediate, especially back then. It would more or less be like immediate results or you would start doing something and within a short period of. You would see results to me, like even seeing paid ad dollars going up or ROI going up or anything like that.
[00:08:54] Andrew: It was just like points to me like it was some kind of video game or something, which is ironic cause I’m not a big video game guy. But then in college, starting my own agency, I was in a band, I was a drummer and we all had our own role outside of the instrument that we played. And so my role was promoting the shows and basically the marketing side of things.
[00:09:12] Andrew: And so I guess I, I did decent with it. I had a bunch of other bands asking me to help them with it. I then started having venues asking me to help them with it. So I started my own agency and it was mainly on the music promotion side, but then the music business got ugly and so I pivoted it, kept the venues, but then also was able to go retail, which then got me back into e-commerce cuz by then e-commerce was picking up a little bit.
[00:09:33] Andrew: I ended up partnering with a family member, which I will never do again. Ended up getting bought out of. went in-house to an e-commerce company for a little while. They were a little over te eight figures. It was just me running the marketing. And then I met someone there where we ended up starting another agency that was specifically e-commerce focused.
[00:09:53] Andrew: We exited that in late 2019, and then in early 2020, I started Blue Tusker and now I’m here on this. Full circle.
[00:10:02] Brent: Wow. Cool. Let’s tell us a little bit about the name Tusker. How did you come up with Blue Tusker?
[00:10:07] Andrew: I love this question cuz it’s always interesting to answer it. There’s really not any logic ish behind it.
[00:10:13] Andrew: When I first started the company, I knew I wanted to have something that was a little bit off the wall because a lot of agencies I find. Power Digital and like growth marketing, digital and like they have all these boring names that are impossible to find when you search for ’em. So I was like, I wanna build a brand and I wanna build a name that you can find me no matter what, that you’ll remember.
[00:10:33] Andrew: So I’m just gonna come up with something. I’ve always been a big fan of elephants. . They, there’s a little bit of theory behind that of like how they all kind of work together. And in marketing it’s the same thing and they don’t forget stuff and then you just like tracking data and I don’t know, I pulled that one out of a hat but didn’t want to be called like Elephant something.
[00:10:48] Andrew: I liked Tusker, I thought it sounded cool. And then my wife and I met in high school and our high school colors were blue and silver. And so I knew that Tusker was probably gonna be like an elephant color of. And so I stuck with Blue Tusker, and then I took the E out because the company that acquired our last agency rebranded changed their name and took the E out of their name, and they drove me crazy.
[00:11:11] Andrew: So as a little bit of a nod to them, I took the E outta Tusker too. Wow. But
[00:11:17] Brent: it’s fine. , that’s a great story. I can recall I was also working as a contractor inside of a e-commerce company and the president of Magento at the time was just super, he is super encouraging and got me to start a digital agency.
[00:11:32] Brent: Not on the marketing side, but on the technical side. , how do you keep so talking a little bit about maybe your podcast, how do you keep it more interesting when it comes to e-commerce? Do you focus on the marketing side of things? What I found, my, my podcast is called Talk Commerce and you’re on it right now.
[00:11:53] Brent: Thanks for
[00:11:54] Andrew: having me, Bob. Yeah,
[00:11:55] Brent: you’re welcome. But what I’ve found is that people sometimes aren’t that interested in the technology. They’re more interested in the stories about what solutions that people have solved. Yeah.
[00:12:06] Andrew: So our podcast, it’s, I would say it’s 90% e-commerce sellers.
[00:12:11] Andrew: Every now and then I’ll have someone that’s, a CEO or CMO or something in that’s in a vendor space. But I like to speak to other seller. And really to me it’s a little bit more about honestly, it’s more for me than it is for our listeners because I’m really interested in how people run their business and why they do what they do and what their logic was for doing it.
[00:12:31] Andrew: So it’s very much like what was the story? What were some of the issues you got through? Everyone that we interview is at least cleared seven figures annually, so I try to figure out like, what was it that got you over that t. Because I know for a lot of e-commerce sellers when they’re first starting off, like that’s one of the hardest things to get over, at least in the beginning there.
[00:12:49] Andrew: So we go through what was your process for going through that? What were some of the hardships you went through past year or two? We’ve talked a lot about like how they’ve helped with or how they’ve solved like any supply chain issues or stuff like that. I obviously tend to cater towards marketing just because it’s outta habit.
[00:13:03] Andrew: But otherwise it’s mostly like trying to get inside of their story and then a little bit of like hacks that they figured out that helped them get over certain thresholds.
[00:13:12] Brent: Yeah, I think the I’ve had the same experience. I interviewed A person who had a candy store and I was focusing really on big commerce cuz that was their platform.
[00:13:20] Brent: And 10 minutes in, I’m really, wow, this is super dry and let’s talk about your business. And when we started talking about candy and freeze dry skittles, that was a game changer. So freeze dried Skittles, it smell delicious. They are really good. And you sent me some bulk candy store.com.
[00:13:36] Brent: I should have a little pre-recorded button that I can push for a commercial right there. the mistakes you’re seeing, like in some, like you see, you must see tons of e-commerce sellers. Is there a common mistake that people are making over and over again, or is it run the gamut on what they’re trying to do?
[00:13:56] Andrew: Kind of depends. Really. It depends on the situation of the business, but like the common mistakes I. are sellers that are so painfully reliant on Amazon. You’ll never, chances are they’ll never make as much money off Amazon as they will on Amazon. But I’m a big believer in not being so reliant on one channel and diversifying.
[00:14:18] Andrew: Plus, I know that building a brand outside of Amazon and actually having a community or a big email list, you get a significantly higher multiple than if you’re just an FBA seller pumping out product. I find that a lot of sellers make that big mistake of not wanting to do anything else outside of Amazon, but then also when they do wanna do it, they just go, they jump into creating, they throw together some horrible website that they just grabbed some random th theme and threw up some pictures, and then they don’t know what to do with it.
[00:14:49] Andrew: They don’t always realize that Amazon versus off Amazon is a wildly different beast. . So you really have to know like where your customer is and how are you gonna reach them. And then testing individual areas instead of just coming off of Amazon, creating a website that they probably got done off of fiber for nothing, and then expecting it to all of a sudden bring on sales like it, this isn’t 2000 and.
[00:15:13] Andrew: 10 anymore. You can’t just launch a website and start making money or you can’t launch a social platform and then all of a sudden, or social profile I should say, and all of a sudden have thousands and thousands or hundreds of thousands of followers. Like it just doesn’t work that way anymore. You actually have to try now.
[00:15:29] Andrew: And most of them I find, don’t realize that. So the biggest mistakes I always see are basically half-assing leaving. Or not knowing who their actual customer is, probably because they were on Amazon, they don’t really tell you. And then just assuming that you have to be everywhere okay, I’m, I have to be on Facebook and Instagram and TikTok and email and doing sms and just because you heard it on a podcast like this doesn’t mean that your business needs it.
[00:15:57] Andrew: So to me it, the biggest mistake is not really knowing what you’re getting into and not knowing where your customers are actually. ,
[00:16:04] Brent: do you often say to them, back up, let’s create a strategy and let’s make a roadmap and let’s pick off the low-hanging fruit first and let’s keep growing as we’re going.
[00:16:14] Brent: And I think one of the things that I see is people aren’t testing what they’re trying and they don’t really know if it’s working or not. They’re just doing it because they heard about it on a podcast.
[00:16:26] Andrew: Yeah. So I, funny enough, I actually do it’s like the one thing I talk about the most is like, how.
[00:16:32] Andrew: Diversify away from Amazon safely without spending an arm and a leg. And I actually just spoke at helium Ten’s conference about this whole thing, and I’ll give you like a brief synopsis on it cause it’s long. But essentially what I do is I walk sellers through how to test the waters.
[00:16:49] Andrew: Like basically dip your toe off of Amazon before jumping into the pool. And usually the problem is they, when they do a horrible website, it’s like jumping into the shallow ends because you’re not going. But basically it’s creating a nice storefront on Amazon, run ads to the storefront, make sure the storefront converts.
[00:17:05] Andrew: Once you’ve done that, start running ads from off Amazon to just the storefront. So now you’re testing that off Amazon traffic to see if that storefront will still convert. Once you do that, then you create a landing page that still sends people to. But you want to track the button on a, on that landing page so you can see okay, can I send them somewhere else now that still showcases the same product line, but still let them go and convert on Amazon.
[00:17:29] Andrew: Plus, at that point you can get email, all that fun stuff. Then you start adding okay, let me just add a buy now button and see if I can keep ’em on there. Then you add all your bells and whistles of, popups for first time customers, some kind of incentive newsletter, something like that to start growing the audience list a little bit.
[00:17:44] Andrew: But now you’re testing can I. Pur get people to purchase off Amazon, then my logic is just sit there and do that for a while. I wouldn’t do it for your full product line. Maybe do it for one product that you can go after and then maybe you wanna replicate that same concept for other products, but then start to generate more capital that you got off Amazon so that you can justify not half-assing your website.
[00:18:06] Andrew: When you do that, then you go in, build the website, and I’m a big fan, especially when you first start a new. Of adding let’s say underneath the buy now button, having a button that says available on Amazon. Or you can use, now Amazon is already caught onto this, so they have the Buy with Prime button, and what you can do is you can add a conversion tracking code to that so you can still see how many people are you sending to Amazon that may or may not be actually converting.
[00:18:29] Andrew: And if you use like Amazon attribution or something like that, you can actually see if they converted. But the problem is when you first launch a new. , you don’t have a lot of reviews on there. So sometimes people will be like, I don’t really know if this is a new brand and whatever. So if you allow them to go to Amazon, not only is it actually proven that having those marketplace buttons on there can increase conversion rates on the site, but it’ll also increase credibility cuz they may go to Amazon C, that you actually have reviews and either A, they’re gonna buy from you, Amazon, or B, they’re gonna buy from your website.
[00:18:59] Andrew: So it’s like letting your customer shop where they’re a little bit more comfortable, but for that whole transition. . Really the only investment you have to make in the beginning to test the waters is the advertising spend for off Amazon stuff, and you’re still driving traffic to Amazon, which is what all Amazon sellers care about, is that their Amazon business growing and then a semi-decent landing page that’ll probably cost you anywhere, if you do it right, anywhere from a thousand, 2000.
[00:19:25] Andrew: So that’s all you need to start testing off Amazon before you jump into creating some horrible website that’s not gonna convert. And then you blame all of your other marketing because the one place that all of your marketing’s being sent to looks horrible.
[00:19:39] Brent: That, that buy with Prime thing. I saw that at the Big Commerce Summit, I think, and they, that I’m always a little bit weary about why a customer would want to have buy with Prime on their.
[00:19:53] Brent: and it’s going to tell them they’re gonna pay with pay on Amazon. . And it also, tells ’em that they’re they’re available on Amazon as well. But you answered that question. Is there a reluctance though, in that, to put that by with Prime on for some clients? Oh,
[00:20:09] Andrew: all the time. All the time.
[00:20:11] Andrew: Because there’s, you obviously are gonna get hit from the margin side of things and they don’t love that. There’s, at the end of the day, that comes down to the business owner and what, what they think is best for their. What I know from a marketing standpoint is a, that there is studies done that even we’ve done that are, when you have those available on Amazon, available on Walmart, eBay, wherever you’re available, having them on there actually builds credibility and will actually improve the conversion rate of your website.
[00:20:37] Andrew: So sometimes they get worried about oh, I don’t wanna send them there. But if you take a page outta Amazon’s. and you cater to providing value to the customer and focusing on what the cust like, making sure that they’re having a good experience. They can shop easily. They are comfortable with the purchase they’re making.
[00:20:56] Andrew: Having that makes a lot more sense to me than complaining about the little bit of margin that you’re probably gonna lose. Because I would also say that doesn’t mean you don’t want to have every bell and whistle on your website to make sure that they stay on the site. But you can also, what we do is we’ll add like a conversion tracking code to each of those buttons.
[00:21:14] Andrew: We’ll then know, okay, here’s a big list of everyone who clicked the button in the past 30. Let’s run and add to them with a nice size discount to shop on the site. And so now they’re gonna come back to the site anyway. So eventually you start to phase it away and then if you test like wanting to get rid of those buttons, you can do that kind of thing as well.
[00:21:32] Andrew: But everything’s about testing.
[00:21:34] Brent: Yeah. I’ve seen customers who are excited about being on Amazon and then I’ve seen customers who are very excited about getting off of Amazon. Is there an ebb and flow that kind of goes back and forth?
[00:21:46] Andrew: Yeah, I mean it, it depends. It’s really difficult. I know there’s gonna be sellers out there that are gonna be like, this guy’s wrong, but they’re, it’s really difficult to build a brand on Amazon because you can’t showcase your product without spending an arm and a leg on advertising.
[00:22:01] Andrew: It’s a complete 100% pay to play platform. So building a brand solely on Amazon where you don’t have any other marketplace is very challenging. Most of the sellers that we’ve worked with over the years were, they’re private label and they have their own. They’re still paying for product specific terms, not brand specific terms.
[00:22:21] Andrew: And that’s the other thing is if you start to build it off Amazon, people start searching for your brand name, which you’re gonna get a crazy great conversion for conversion rate for, which means you’re always gonna outrank your competitors, which means your cost per click’s gonna be lower. So it actually reduces your advertising costs on Amazon.
[00:22:36] Andrew: But then in the reverse of the people who are really excited to get on. They also don’t entirely understand sometimes that, okay, it’s like starting somewhere new because you don’t have any reviews. You’ve got no traction on these listings. They’re gonna be brand new. The benefit to that is if you do have an off Amazon business, You can then, which is what we cater in, is basically taking your marketing strategy and pointing the traffic wherever you want it, right?
[00:23:01] Andrew: So if we were to launch a new product on Amazon and the seller was really excited to finally get on Amazon, we would actually take their full email list, maybe even like some, run some ads to like a warm audience and offer them like some kind of discount to go shop on Amazon and just offer it to them the one time and let that listing start to get its snowball effect and then stop doing that because obviously you’re gonna hurt your.
[00:23:22] Andrew: I think that it’s really smart to have your product available wherever your customer is, whether you run ads on that platform or not, or different. Sometimes we have sellers who have a really nice size brand. They have all their products available on Amazon, but they don’t run ads because they know people are just gonna search their brand name and they’re gonna purchase their.
[00:23:42] Andrew: Sometimes we’ll do what we just refer to as like brand defensive ads where we’ll run ads, but only on their brand name at a really low cost so that they keep the ranking. But outside of that’s it. So it kind of depends on the brand and where they’re at
[00:23:54] Brent: when you’re on Amazon. I’ve also heard that it’s very important to have a brand, and if you don’t have a brand, if you’re just selling some kind of a commodity item, that it’s much more difficult to succeed on.
[00:24:09] Andrew: Yeah. There’s a lot of, like if you, so if you get your brand registered, so if you you have a trademark, you go to Amazon, you get it registered with them, it takes a day, I think maybe a week for them to approve it. There’s a ton of stuff that you get when you have a brand so that you don’t get, if you don’t have one.
[00:24:25] Andrew: So there’s the a plus content, so it’s essentially. I, the layman’s term to me is it’s like a landing page in the middle of your listing. For the most part. It’s like a big, when they’re done right, they’re a big, well-designed area that really showcases the brand as well as more about the product. Then you also get your storefront, so you can actually have like your own Amazon website more or less that you can control, like what’s on there and how people purchase and all that fun stuff.
[00:24:50] Andrew: And then you also have sponsored brand ads, which is right at the very top of any. You’ll see like a picture of someone’s logo and then three pictures of like different products that they sell, and that main link will link over to their storefront. So you can really take like more generalized keyword traffic to your storefront.
[00:25:11] Andrew: And so building a brand on Amazon is still incredibly difficult because it’s expensive, but. Not having your brand registered and having all those bells and whistles, you’re already going up against people that already have that stuff. So you pretty much have to build a brand on there. Now,
[00:25:27] Brent: if we look into next year what do you think the landscape of e-commerce looks like?
[00:25:33] Andrew: Oh, next year. It’s gonna be interesting if we end up in a recession, it’s gonna end. sep separating the men from the boys a little bit. There’s gonna, it’s unfortunately, know, a lot of people are probably not gonna make it through. So competition may get smaller. I don’t really know.
[00:25:49] Andrew: But I think that definitely customers are gonna get a little bit more like price centric. So they’re gonna want to make sure they’re getting a deal. They’re only spending money on like the right stuff. Now is the time, although it might be a little late depending on when this starts to happen more and more, but now is the time to actually have a quality brand and a community and focus on selling to your existing customers as much as possible and focus on retention.
[00:26:17] Andrew: Then worrying so much about acquiring new customers, cuz that’s always gonna be your most expensive thing anyway. So having a great experience, building a brand, building a community, keeping conversation going around your. That’s gonna be a big focus. I think in the next, like probably even further down the line, I’m starting to see these little niche marketplaces show up.
[00:26:37] Andrew: So you have Amazon, which is really like the Walmart of the internet, that Walmart was. Way back when, and then you obviously have Walmart now. But I’m finding like these tiny little marketplaces that like solely focus on fishing, solely focus on golf stuff and solely focus on pets, so obviously Chewy.
[00:26:53] Andrew: So what they’ve done is they’ve built these great communities around specific things that people are interested in. And so when you go to buy stuff, you immediately go to them. Like I’m obviously, I love my dogs. I don’t even think about going to Amazon when I need pet stuff. I go to Chewy. If Chewy doesn’t have it, then it doesn’t exist and I’m just not getting it.
[00:27:11] Andrew: So like by starting to segment out those different marketplaces, I think that’s gonna be really interesting because I think a lot of e-commerce sellers are gonna end up on these like smaller marketplaces and really start to hone in on their audience instead of the spray and pray approach that everyone’s trying to do.
[00:27:26] Brent: Yeah, I interviewed a lady last week who has a hair care brand and she’s on a specific streaming marketplace, so it’s similar to QVC, but only for these types of sustainable products. , skincare hair care products, and it’s all about, you would get an hour live livestream. You sell on that specific.
[00:27:48] Brent: That’s very interesting. The other one that I heard the CEO of of vtech, which is another platform, he was big on conversational commerce, where you may not have a platform there at all. You would just have, you would be you would go on to TikTok or WhatsApp or, and you’re talking to a salesperson who’s then going to enter that order for you directly.
[00:28:09] Brent: They might push you a. A payment gateway through the platform. But you’re going to skip no, I guess no UX commerce, right? That’s what it’s called.
[00:28:19] Andrew: Yeah. I’ve poked around in that a little bit. It’s really interesting. I find it to be really challenging cuz you’re so reli. It’s like turning e-commerce into a service business, which is very difficult to scale.
[00:28:30] Andrew: But there is definitely something to be said about people like to buy from a person, not from a. So even when you think about especially on the service side of the world, which is why you and I do podcasts like people want to know who’s the person behind the business and do I want to work with them even if they don’t actually talk to them.
[00:28:48] Andrew: If they’re still buying their products or using their service, they never actually talk to the owner or anything like that. They always want to know who are they working with and who runs that business. And so I find that whole. Let’s say you’re going through WhatsApp, you’re almost working with like just a sales rep the entire time.
[00:29:01] Andrew: I find that to be very interesting. I think that there’s a nice way that e-commerce sellers can still have their cake and eat it too, sort of thing, and not have to solely rely on that. But it does make a lot of sense to me. It’s taking customer service and really focusing on it hard to the point where it’s like a c.
[00:29:20] Brent: Yeah I I spoke to a person who just started a company that’s doing video from, it’s like a plugin, I think it’s specifically for Shopify, but they, it is a one-to-one video, so to help people purchase that product. So he gave an example of high-end cowboy boots. You can go on to the store and then they will direct you to.
[00:29:43] Brent: Expert who is gonna help you pick out your boots.
[00:29:47] Andrew: That’s genius. I love that. Yeah. I think there’s a certain customer profile that would really like that, and there’s a certain customer profile that would be scared out of their minds. But I think that it’s really no different than if you had a retail store and someone was a sales.
[00:30:04] Andrew: But the nice thing is that the salesperson will sometimes come up to you when you don’t want help, and they won’t leave you alone. In this case, you just hit X and they go away. I like that. I’ll have to look into that.
[00:30:13] Brent: Yeah. The funny part too is he gave that one and I asked him what, like what is on your roadmap?
[00:30:17] Brent: And he said that they have retail on the roadmap and he gave the example of being at a Best Buy and you’re standing in front of this tv. Very specific technology things and there’s a QR code next to it and you scan it and then you get a person who is an expert on that device that you can talk to directly in their, in the Best Buy store.
[00:30:38] Brent: And then you could even check out and pay right there and then pick it up as you leave . Huh? So anyways,
[00:30:47] Andrew: look at that. I like that idea. Yeah. For complicated products, that makes a lot of.
[00:30:52] Brent: Yeah. Good. So Andrew we’re running out of time here towards the end of the podcast. I give everybody a chance to do a shameless plug.
[00:30:59] Brent: What would you like to plug today?
[00:31:02] Andrew: Oh gee, let’s do, all right. We’ll do e-comm show, we’ll do my podcast. Oh, however, only if you stay listening to Talk Commerce. I’m not trying to steal any listeners right now, , but check out our podcast. You can listen to both at different times. It’ll be totally fine.
[00:31:19] Andrew: But we interview e-commerce sellers. Just head over to the e-commerce show.com. You’ll see all of our past episodes we’re on, I think every podcast platform available as far as I know. And our YouTube channel, which is, we also record ’em like this. But yeah, I’ll plug.
[00:31:32] Brent: Excellent, Andrew. Thank you.
[00:31:34] Brent: I I applaud you for also shopping at Chewy’s, a big employer here in Minneapolis. And I have a lot of their wares going to the job fairs. Not me looking for a job, but trying to hire people. And I wish you all the best this week.
[00:31:48] Andrew: Appreciate it. Thanks for having me.
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