Welcome to the Process to e-com profit podcast, where we know top line sales just isn’t enough to have the business of your dreams learn to run a profitable business online that doesn’t run you.
Welcome to our show. today we’re gonna be talking with Robin. I hear this question all the time from my clients, and the question is, why aren’t my product selling? I’ve got my listing out on Amazon, but I’m not getting the sales that I expect to get. And when I get that question, I generally say, Let me talk to my friend Robin . So we decided to, to, to make a whole show about that today. And Robin, what do you find in your experience when, when peoples are not getting the sales that they’re expecting?
Well, you know, usually when people have optimized their listing, you know, we even have people who, like, they paid an agency and the agency optimized the listing, and maybe it got worse, or maybe it didn’t help at all. And to be honest, there have been times that we have optimized the listing and it didn’t help. so if you optimize the listing and you don’t in the, and you’re not clear on why, people are gonna buy or, you know, the, the kind of the consumer that’s behind it, that can be one reason why that listing might not sell. And we can talk about that a little bit more, but primarily, you know, the first piece is always gonna be around keywords. And so, you know, it used to be that you wanted to include as many keywords as possible. It was just, you know, you without stuffing try to put as many different variations and different keywords.
Well, that was before there was a limit of characters on the bullets, on the backend keywords. You had unlimited space, so why not go for it? Now we have a limited amount, of space in most of the indexable fields. and then on top of that, you know, ads expenses are so much more. I was actually thinking about a presentation I did in like 2016 where I was like, a 3% a class is just way too high. Nobody should be paying that. And now people would, would, would probably kill their mothers for 3% a class, You know, so ad costs are more expensive. And so that means we have to be a little bit more judicious about the keywords that we’re really selecting, to include in our listing. So if that makes sense.
Sure. It makes, it makes sense. But, you talked about proper keyword research. so for someone who doesn’t really, I mean, I understand what keywords are, but how would you go about doing the research? What, what would you do to ensure that you’re covering all your bases when you do that keyword research?
Yeah, so that’s a great question. We use the kind of a combination of tools. I use three tools because this is kind of what we do all day every day. you could probably get away with one or two if you just have a couple of products. so we use a combination of merchant words, cell zone, and helium 10. what I like for merchant words in Helium 10 is I can do two things. One, I can start by thinking first. You know, usually what we’ll start is I’ll think like, okay, if I’m putting my myself in the mind of the customer and I didn’t know the name of the product, I didn’t know the brand, how would I search for this product? So let’s say that I have a Scooby do salt shaker. I might search for Scooby, do salt shaker. I might search for Scooby, do salt, and pepper shaker.
I might do Scooby, do accessories. So, you know, what are all the keywords that I, that I might type in? Then the next step is I’m gonna look, if I already have a listing that’s kind of doing all right, then I’m gonna do a reverse eon search. You can do this, on both helium 10 and merchant words where you, you put in the eon and it will tell you what keywords that product is ranking for. And then I filter for the, the things that are in the top 10 positions. And then I’m gonna, but, but, you know, that just tells me kind of what keywords I have done, what, what I’ve already ranked for. So then I wanna compare that to the list that I wrote out. And if I see, if I go into merchant words or Helium 10 and in, kind of the place where, like the keyword there, it’s magnets in Helium 10.
and it’s classic search for merchant words. If I type in Scooby do Salt shaker, it’s gonna come up with all of the additional, like the longer keyword phrases like black and white Scooby do, Salt Shaker or Scooby Doo and Veronica, I can’t remember the names of the characters. I picked a bad franchise. but you know, and it will come up with all of the different variations there. But that gives us, that gives us a really good list. But I also wanna know what my competitors are doing. So I wanna go and put, you know, kind of how I do with my product. I put my ASIN in and sell what I was ranking for. I’m gonna take my closest competitors that are ranked in the first positions for the most important keywords that I’ve identified so far, and I’m gonna do a reverse ASIN search and kind of gather all the keywords that they’re ranking in the top 10 positions.
Now, that gives you a lot of keywords. So, you know, you’re talking about hundreds of keyword phrases, right? For most products in Scooby do salt shaker, you might not have as many because there’s some products that, there’s just only so many ways to describe it. you know, there’s some products, there’s a million ways to describe a garlic press or, you know, a yoga mat, cuz you can have a Star Wars yoga mat and a black yoga mat and an extra large yoga mat and a thick yoga mat. So depending on the product, that’s gonna change, kind of the, the number of keywords. And so the, the bigger that net, the more we kind of need to narrow to the top 10 positions.
Okay, so let’s, how do you even determine what those top 10 positions are? I mean, from the software tools, do they give you that information?
Yes. If both of them in advanced search, you can put the organic rank and make sure you put it from one to 10, not zero to 10, because there can be some that don’t have any rank. and unless you’re in a category that doesn’t have rank, but most, most beginners don’t start in those categories because they’re a little bit more difficult to get into. then what you’re gonna do is you’re gonna take ’em all, all of those keywords and you’re gonna put ’em in a frequency counter. So, like Helium 10 has this thing called Frankenstein, but there’s also, right words.uk where you can copy and paste this whole, all of these big, this big list of words into one area, and then it will say, Okay, we saw Scooby do 74 times, we saw Salt 63 times, we saw Shaker 84 times, and we put those in order of whatever one I saw the most.
We’re gonna put the most importance on that because when we think about it, if we know all of these were things that they were ranking in the top 10 positions for, then that means that, you know, opening up salt shaker, Scooby do, including all of those root keywords, is gonna open the most number of keyword phrase doors. So we’re gonna use that list from highest frequency to lowest frequency as we go to write our title and bullets. now they’re gonna be a, a tendency to be like, All right, well, I’m gonna do extra large Scooby do salt shaker large. But that’s not that. If you think about when you look at a listing on Amazon, is that the one you’re gonna buy? especially Amazon Sellers know that that means it’s probably a private label, it that makes your product look cheaper.
So now what we gotta do is we have a kind of a game where you have to balance two things that are at odds with each other. The first game is including as many root keywords. So like in a keyword phrase like Scooby Do salt shaker, Scooby do is one root keyword, right? Salt is one root keyword. So I wanna include as many root keywords as possible in my title in bullets. And then so that, that’s the first game, How many keywords can I put in there without it sounding weird or stuffy or, fake or, you know, like somebody who’s not familiar with the English language wrote it.
So, so it’s gotta be, appealing. I mean, the person who’s doing this search, wants to have confidence in buying from you. So, making it flow, making it, yeah, it’s got those keywords in there so it shows up, but it’s also gotta make sense to a potential buyer and not, not be off putting, Is that what you’re trying to say?
Yes. So the first game is include as many keywords as possible. The second game that you have to give equal weight to, we have to balance them both, is that the second game is writing compelling copy that your customer will read and say, Oh, this person gets it. They know my problem, and so their product will work for me because they clearly understand what the problem I’m trying to solve this. And so it’s gonna answer all of the questions that they need to buy. Sometimes people will be like, My listing’s great. Look at all of the questions that people ask at the bottom. And I have to say, No, no, no questions at the bottom are not a good thing. Because if you think of, if you’ve ever answer, asked a question on Amazon, think about what, what you were doing. You were saying, Well, I really wanna buy, I really wanna buy this product, but there’s some things keeping me from making that purchase.
There’s something that I don’t know that is making me stop and not click that add to cart button. So if you have a lot of questions on your listings, that means you’re missing something. And sometimes people will be like, Well, I clearly put that in the bullets. Well, not everybody reads the bullets. And if your bullets are, or, you know, rival War and peace as far as length, there’s gonna get missed. So we need to mimic that important thing in the images. you know, a thing about titles is, you wanna include the title is kind of your premo spot. So you wanna include your most important keywords at the beginning. So if you have an established brand, your most important keywords are gonna be your brand, your brand, and your product name. There’s nothing more important for Lego to put than Lego.
And then the 51 60 for the red, and then Red Fire Truck or Star Wars Death Star, those are the only keywords that really matter for them because they have so much search volume mm-hmm. , right? If you’re a private label and people aren’t searching for your brand in your title, you need to wanna, you know, we talked about keyword phrase, you wanna pick one keyword phrase that’s has a lot of search volume that is highly relevant. And when you’re looking at ordering the words, we wanna prefer the order that we think our customers are gonna type in the most. but it’s not, that’s not, you know, that’s, you know, the, the more private label you are, the more important that is, because we wanna make sure we’re getting initial conversions right away. So when we’re doing it for a brand, we don’t necessarily need to focus on that as much.
In our agency, if somebody’s already been on Shark Tank and people are already searching for their brand, they’re gonna get conversions right away anyway. So, when you’re going into writing that copy, like spend the time to know your customer. If you already have people who’ve bought, you know, see if you can offer them something else in for free in order to ask them some questions. What are, what are their values? What are, you know, what are the things that made them interested in them? So what did they not like? you know, if you’re selling a product that helps people compost and your packaging is all plastic, it’s not gonna, it’s gonna hit a little off because people who go to the work to compost are very eco conscious, and they’re not gonna want any plastic because they’re doing a lot of extra effort to try to reduce the amount of waste that they’re producing. So thinking about kind of this can not only help in the way that you create your listings, but also the way you create and package your products.
Okay. So it’s a whole, it’s all connected and
It’s all connected. Yes.
It’s a whole bottle of wax. Well, I’ve heard you talk before about indexing and how important it is to make sure you’re index. So could you talk to us about what that means? What is indexing and, and then tell us why it’s important.
So indexing means that if I type in Lego, then somewhere, if I type Lego and hit enter in Amazon search bar, that’s somewhere, it could be in the on page 500, but somewhere I’m gonna show up in the search results. So if I type in that keyword and I show up somewhere, then that’s gonna show me. So you can type in the ASIN and then you know the keyword, and then you can see if it shows up in the results or not. So being index means that you’re somewhere in the ranking. So this is step one, you may need to be somewhere in the rankings for these important keywords. Then we have to show Amazon that we’re the best fit for those keywords. So that’s where we’re going to cause conversions to have Amazon say, Oh, this is a relevant product to Lego, because when I show this product for Lego, it’s going to, it’s actually going to get a sale.
That’s why, especially in a lot of private label circles, we talk about, like future launch dates and not making your product available at all until your ads are ready. Your listing is completely optimized, is because you get kind of this honeymoon phase, where Amazon auditions you for specific keywords, and how you do in the audition will kind of determine where you are. And it’s much more difficult to climb up from the bottom than to climb up for maybe page two or page three. So, listing optimization used to just be about what was on the page. So it was, you know, the, to me, some backend search terms. but then it was mostly like your title and bullets. Now it’s that, but it’s also how well do you convert. and so that means thinking about your advertising, thinking about, the coupons that you might have to start to get those initial conversions that you need for your listing.
Okay. Well, if, if, if we’ve got all of that figured out, and we’ve talked about content and the product descriptions, where do images fit into this whole scenario? How, how important are they? And how do you go about making sure you’ve done all you can with your images?
You know, a lot of times people think that images are not related to search, and in the strictest sense of the form, they’re not, Amazon’s not gonna be like, Wow, this is a picture of a dog, so you should index for dog. It’s, it’s not that advanced. but what it does, having really quiet quality images is important for search and ranking in that your pictures are, you know, when you search on mobile, all you see without having to scroll down, and the bullets are kind of way down there. They’re, they’re hard to, for me to find sometimes, or I’m like, where are those bullets? and I know that they’re supposed to be there, right? so most customers on mobile are only gonna see your title and your images. So this means when they swipe, they swipe this way, they, you know, they swipe right in order to see your images.
We wanna make sure that all of the really buying critical things, like if you’re selling a desk, the dimensions, how high it is, how, you know, will it fit on a will, will my laptop fit on it? Will my, iMac fit on? It’s having pictures that show scale, or if it’s a, nutritional product, a product that we eat, then maybe having something that shows a nutritional panel or showing how this piece of furniture will look in an office. We wanna make sure we have those high quality images, and we really like to, within our agency, use infographics. So just instead of just having the standup desk, in the office, you know, having something that shows the highest point and the lowest point, and then maybe saying, you know, you know, let’s say I’m, I, I, I know I’m approved to say something like we’ve, you know, we’ve studied and we’ve determined that standing desks, reduce your chance of blood clot by 50%.
Don’t write that in your standing desk. Like, but it’s just an example. or, you know, standing desks, allow you to have a healthier lifestyle even when working, you know, a nine to five computer job. So you obviously you’d have click your com, you’d wanna have better, copy than that. but just kind of those kind of things. So you’re gonna use that text to kind of help the images, make sure that you’re communicating everything that you would’ve communicated in the bullets, but that does not mean copying and pasting the bullets and putting them in your images, because that will look horrible and nobody will read them.
So an infographic is a, an example of an image which would be appealing, but is not necessarily a picture of your product.
Yeah. And so, and like, Anchor is a good example. a k E r they do, pretty good jobs, you know, so they, like, they have, like little external USB chargers for your phone mm-hmm. And so that, you know, they’ll have a little picture of the charger and they could have just left it there, but instead they have a little line and it, you know, it says, you know, USB one charger and then it might say, charges an iPhone in five hours. And then it has another one that says, you know, Usb-c, and then it says, charges an iPhone in three hours or something along those lines. So basically you’re making, you’re adding a little bit of text. Now, this is only on images to and beyond on the first image, there’s no text allowed, but we’re adding the, that text to help make sure that our customers are able to identify whether the product is right for them.
Okay. So I know one of the things that’s really critical for me, after I’ve read what, what’s on the listing, I go read what other people have to say and always wonder, you know, is, is this really a, a real review or not? But, how do you make sure that you’re getting, good reviews, honest reviews on your, on your website or on your listing?
And this is why it’s really important to look at the date of any content that you’re consuming on around Amazon. It used to be that you would just go into a Facebook group and you’d say, Everybody go buy my product and then I’ll refund you, and then I will get a lot of conversions on Amazon. You’ll get a free product, everybody wins. Amazon knows that that’s how people were manipulating the ranking and the review system. So now they’ve made it so you can very easily get suspended and Amazon is creep good at identifying, these things. Now you might have a competitor who hasn’t been caught, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t be caught. so we wanna make sure we’re getting these reviews organically. So we can expect one to 3% of customers to leave reviews on most products. you know, depending on kind of your customer type.
some customer, some products just yield more comments just because the type of customer that you have. but on average expect one to 3%, you can use the requested review button, after, I think, you know, after the first week is usually I think when we do it, after it arrives, and then it will just send a little thing to asking your customers to leave at least a rigging. and then there’s also the, the Amazon Vine program. Now the thing about Amazon Vine is you have to have, I think you still have to Brown have brown registry. I have to double check on that. and then there, you have to give them free product and they are very honest reviews. So if you know that there’s a potential product issue or people aren’t happy with portion or an aspect of your product, mine’s not a great option, you know, So you wanna make sure that people are already happy with your product.
Amazon, if you go through the learning console and their advertising training, they say, you know, you’re, you’re shouldn’t ramp up your advertising until you have 25 reviews. Well, it’s kind of a chicken in the egg thing cuz you can’t get 25 reviews until you’ve had a lot of sales. So you just, you can go ahead and start ramping up your advertising, but just know as you get more reviews, your the cost for your advertising will go down. you know, as you know. So, assuming you’re not testing a new, you know, a new batch of keywords, then that’s kind of what you can expect.
Well, one of the things that I’ve seen with a, some of the clients that we’ve worked with is they’ve gone out and, advertised, and their product wasn’t ready. And I know that’s not exactly this topic, but, what I’ve seen is that it’s really hard to come back from a, a listing that has a lot of negative reviews on it, that it’s, you know, that it’s really, it really takes a lot to overcome a product that is showing, negative reviews. So what, what, what should businesses do to ensure their products are gonna get a good review in the first place? What kind of preliminary testing do you, do you recommend?
So the first thing you can do when you’re looking, so ideally, you know, a lot of people will want to just, you know, I’m gonna types and stuff into X-rays, you know, helium tanks, like black box, things like that. I’m just gonna find a product based off of what I think that there’s kind of like a gap in the market and you do need to do that product research. but it’s important that once you could identify, okay, I’m gonna do a yoga mat, don’t do a yoga mat, but let’s say I’m gonna do a yoga mat, then I now get into some yoga communities and it, in order for me to compete, I need to make my yoga mat better than everybody else’s. Otherwise it’s just who can outspend everybody else to get to that top position and hold it. and so yes, there is an opportunity for profitability, but it’s going to cost a lot to get to that position.
and for most people, that’s not always tenable. And then if your product isn’t good and won’t hold that position, so the first thing you can do is find who your customer is and when you get those samples, so let’s say I’m doing a yoga mat. I am not the person to test out whether that yoga mat is good because I do yoga like, you know, once every couple of months. And then I remember that I’m not very good at it. And then, you know, so like I’m not the, like the person, my sister does yoga all the time and you know, my friend Jennifer does yoga all the time. I would wanna send those samples to them to get their feedback. So if your mom doesn’t like your product but your mom is not your customer, then this is a time when it’s okay not to listen to your mama
, okay? So do that product testing to be sure before you go to all of this other trouble that you’ve got a product that’s not gonna end up, with inherent problems in its performance.
And that also means doing quality checks in China, or doing quality checks here. And, and just a quick reminder, it’s important for the customers that you serve, that you do the appropriate safety checks that are required. So if you have a kid’s product, then you need to test it for lead. If you have a kid’s product, you need to make sure the buttons won’t come off and choke people. These are, you know, this, you know, products do kill people. if you are not, so don’t cut corners on the safety testing because it can come back to bites you in a real financial way is a lawsuit. So make sure you’re taking the time to do that as well.
How, how can you determine whether or not you actually have a traffic problem or whether you have a conversion problem?
Yeah, cuz that’s one of the main things, right? You know, if, if you were saying, Well my listing isn’t doing well, I’m just gonna drive more advertising to it. If your listing is, is when people see your ad and maybe they’re clicking into it and they’re still not buying it could be that there’s something wrong with the listing. So Amazon provides a report if you go to reports, business reports, and then there’s the detailed page and traffic. And if you have a lot of variations like size or color, you’re gonna go buy child and it will show you your, your, it shows you things like the buy box percentage. It shows you how many page use and how many sessions you have, but it also shows me, you, your unit session percentage, and that’s basically your conversion rate. So if your unit session percentage is 10%, that means out of every 10 people, one per person will actually buy.
Now the next question that’s inherent is, well, what’s a good unit session percentage? And it’s gonna depend on the kind of the competitiveness of your product. a con unit session percentage of, you know, 5% could be good for a blue iPhone case, but it would be really bad for a underwater basket weaving kit because there’s a lot fewer of those. So people should, you know, if they, if they get to that listing, they should be purchasing a larger percentage of it. so you’re gonna have to look at it, compare it to other products, and then use that as a benchmark and try to increase it. But if you see that, you know, 4,000 people have come to your product and only four have converted, doesn’t matter how much traffic you send right now you’re sending the wrong traffic or there’s something wrong with your listing where either the questions are not being answered or once.
Something that can also happen is if, like, let’s say you’re selling essential oils and you’re selling it for $32 a bottle and somebody else is selling the same essential oil for 7 99, unless your images and your copy really portray why your is so much better, then it’s gonna be difficult to get that sale. So it could be that, you know, we’re seeing a lower price, it could be that, you’re, that, that there’s some key information. and then it can also just be that you’re driving the wrong traffic. So if you are Dr, you know, if, if you’re driving a lot of, to your composting kit, if you are driving a lot of, keywords for trash cans to your composting kit, a lot of people who use trash cans are not going to wanna do composting. So it’s not, it is not that the listing is bad, then it’s you’re driving the wrong traffic.
But that report will help you to identify all right, if, because if you also, if you see, you know, a hundred people keen and 50 people bought, well your listing is converting. We just need to advertise it more to get it in front of more eyes and then that’s how you’ll get more sales. And because Amazon’s like the most capitalistic search engine out there, every time it gets a sale for a specific keyword, it moves up the ranking. And so that means when somebody naturally types in, you know, organic composting kit, then you will start instead of being on page two. Now maybe you’re on page one on the fifth position and more people are seeking your products and you’ll start to see that you’ll get more organic sales. And, and that’s why it’s important to not just look at a cost in your advertising. this is a little bit advanced. So if you’re beginning just to close your ears for a second, if, if when, if you’re advanced, you wanna look at tacos, total, a cost versus, advertising costs of sale because we wanna, that allows you to kind of look at how the advertising is working in, in comparison to all of your sales, including your organic, so you can see if you’re starting to get some organic traction from your ads.
Yeah, which I would think you’d want because ads are really expensive. And so anything you can do to cut down on that ad spend is a good thing. Well, you talked about keywords and showing up on page one. Is there, is there a certain number of keywords that you need to have on, on, page one? I’m sure it’s really important. I know myself, I don’t often click over to the second page if I can quickly see something on page one. Talk to us about how many of our keywords need to show up on page one.
So the more keywords you have on page one, the better. But when you’re prioritizing, you’re not gonna have a, an infinite amount of ad budget. If you do, you know, please come talk to my agency, . But either way, you know, like, you know, if you have, you only have so much ad budget. So what we wanna do is we wanna focus on, the a keyword that is gonna be easy for us to attain that has some of the root keyword. So let’s say I’m trying to, rank for a, a compost kit, but maybe there’s a lot of competition for that. So I’m gonna do extra large, compost kit for city or you know, for apartment, right? So as I get more seals for that, I’m gonna get sales for extra large compost kit for apartments, but I’m also getting sales for organic compost kit cuz that’s in the middle of that phrase.
So once I focus on dominating on this one, then I can move to a broader keyword. but what you wanna look at is on your closest competitors, do that reverse ASIN search and filter and see, okay, in the top 10 positions, my competitor is ranking for 51 keywords and I’m ranking for 22, or I’m ranking for seven. That, that shows you, that’s why they’re outselling you. So that kills you exactly what keywords you wanna advertise through sponsored products to get some of the sales in order to do that. And when we’re trying to decide which one of those we look at competitiveness and relevancy. So it’s not just about search volume or which one’s getting the most has the most customers behind it, we want the ones that has the most customers behind it. That’s also really relevant to our product that it’s gonna be when we’re thinking about who the intent of somebody who’s typing that in, what are they thinking? Is our product a good match for them?
So sponsored products, we’re talking about ads. how, how can we make sure we’re setting our ad campaign up so that we it’s gonna be successful?
So, you know, you wanna make sure you’re thinking about strategy. A lot of times people will just set up an automatic campaign and kind of cross their fingers in hope. And that 100% worked five years ago. it, it was, it was strategy we used for a long time ago. it now you really need to have a more in depth thought out strategy. So if you’re new to category, you might need to do some video ads to kind of provide people some, a chance to get to know your product or you might need to use some audience targeting, if you have a conceivable product where people, you can target them to come back and repurchase that product. but if that’s not the case, and we wanna look at the keywords that are gonna bring the most, sale, and we wanna test lots of different match types, especially, you know, in a lot of circles it can be like exact match is always the best match.
Many times exact match is the best, but we have some specific products where broad does better than exact or phrase does better than exact. And it really has to do with, you know, something, sometimes it’s gonna be that the way that you describe a product, maybe the exact match brings up a product that’s not the right thing. So you’re competing against something completely different. So, you know, exact match isn’t always the best. So test lots of match types, test different placements, and you know, so you wanna make sure you’re thinking about, okay, and then if you have a consumable product that people buy over and over again, it’s okay for you to spend a little more up on ads. So maybe you end up negative on the first time somebody buys, but you know, as they come back to restock, then you’ll make more money. But you need to really know your lifetime value of your customer if you’re gonna take that strategy.
Yeah, that sounds pretty advanced, I think. Yeah, . Okay, well this is a, a ton of great information. Robin, you’ve taken us through, many different strategies for if your product’s not selling what you can do. And going back to the, the listing, the reviews, that’s, it sounds really comprehensive. What, what would you say to someone just kind of to wrap it up, what, what are the first 1, 2, 3 things that they should do just to get their head around why their product might not be selling?
Do proper keyword research and, you know, there’s lots of videos from Heli 10 and Merchant words about how to specifically do those keyword that keyword research write compelling copy that’s going to make sure that answers your customer’s questions and includes as many good keywords as possible. Then we wanna make sure our images mirror our bullets so that even if people don’t read our bullets, they can, if they only look at our images, they know what they need to know before they purchase. Gather reviews as much as you can organically without breaking Amazon’s rules so you don’t lose them and have to start over again. And that also means making sure you have a high quality product and bringing high quality products to market. And then after that we’re going to use review. We’re gonna use a clippable coupons and advertisement to try to show Amazon that this product will convert for this keyword so we can take a better organic position. And then that will allow us to move up the rank. If you are, you’re wondering why your competitor is outselling, you do that reverse ASIN search on your product versus their product and filter for the top 10 positions and see how many positions they’re in, number one for versus you, how many positions in the top five are they versus you? That will give you a great starting position for exactly what you need to do in order to, to out flank them in in your selling strategy.
Awesome. Well that’s great advice. I think people can, it’s a process. You can work through it and take that data and, and get to work on your products. All right, that’s our show today. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, Robin. And now we’ll go to our five minute fix.
This is Robin Johnson with your five minute fix. Today we’re talking about controlling resellers. If you’ve been selling primarily through big box stores or you know, through wholesale, you might be concerned where people are getting these products, where they’re able to resell on your listing. First of all, there’s a lot of ways that people could get legitimate products. It could be that they’re buying a clearance in store. It could be that they’re buying through a co-op from that wholesale place or they’re just, you know, maybe they’re buying from a distributor. There’s a lot of different ways to identify how people are getting those products. but the first thing we wanna do is wanna controlling the distribution of our products. there’s a lot of things out there saying that you could get just get brand registry or remove all the unauthorized sellers from your products.
I really wish that was the case sometimes, but it’s not any on, the only way that Amazon looks at it is anybody who buys the product and they can prove that it’s authentic. They have a right to sell that, that listing just as much as you do. And so Amazon’s not, it’s not in their best interest to help you remove that product or that seller because, you know, it allows people to get a, sometimes a better price. And so it’s better for Amazon if we have lots of sellers on the same listing. So the question is how do we stop this from happening? The first thing that we need to do is we need to make sure that we’re really looking at, where we can tighten up our distribution. So maybe it’s identifying, are people getting this primarily through my distributor or they buying it whole directly wholesale for me or they buying it in big box retail stores.
We’ve worked with a lot of big brands that had a lot of distribution and you know, we’ve initially just assumed that people were getting them through distributors, but we’ve been surprised many times that people had set up wholesale accounts that really hadn’t been properly vetted and that was where they were getting a majority of the re the majority of resellers were getting their inventory. So we wanna identify where people are, getting their i your, your inventory and close off those distribution channels. Now that’s something that we can, that we do with our clients is we can help them work through that process. but I can’t fit all of that into a five minute fix. The next thing we, once we do, once we control that distribution, is we, we can, we can make sure that people aren’t using anything that is infringing on our trademark.
So while they can, if our product, it has our logo on it and it’s a picture of our product, they can use that, that’s not a problem. What they can’t do is they can’t call their generic web webcam Logitech. So we wanna make sure we’re protecting our copy and trademark. And again, that’s something that we do for clients, through the brand registry portal. You can use that to report any copyright, patent, and trademark infringements. After we do that, you know, there’s some other things that we want to do to protect, prevent future resellers, and that can be as easy as making sure that you have a really clear map policy and reseller agreement. It’s recommended that you really talk to an attorney for this because it can be very easy to slip into the, the area of price fixing. It’s also really important that whatever rules you create for your resellers, you enforce them uniformly, otherwise it can cause a legal, mess for you a little bit later.
So make sure that you’re doing all of the, this taking the steps and having somebody either walking you through the process or you can, you can start to do some more research and due diligence on that. But basically once you’ve cut off that distribution, you make it so that that person is not able to buy that product, and you start to protect your trademarks that usually handles most of it. If somebody’s selling your product above the msrp, that’s the easiest to squash. You can come and sell directly your product at the MSRP or slightly below that will usually take away the margin and eventually the resellers will go away. If that’s not the case. And let’s say maybe people are buying ’em from Home Depot and, but Home Depot is your largest buyer, or they’re buying from your distributor, and that dis distributor makes up 75% of your overall cash flow, sometimes it’s not realistic to cut off the distribution to those particular sellers because it would mean disrupting the, the cash flow for the entire company.
So now what we wanna look at is maybe potentially creating an Amazon exclusive or changing skews or changing the packaging even so that the packaging moves into the next size tier so that it costs more, for people to sell those products on Amazon. And we can walk you through, we walk clients through that process to make sure that they’re not kind of, you know, hurting their, their long term success overall. So when as you’re making those changes, those are some options, but you wanna think strategically about your future plans, your future distribution growth, to make sure that you’re giving yourself the best opportunity in, both areas. And we’re not doing anything for short term gains that might have a higher cost than is necessary. I hope that helps and that’s your five minute fix for today.
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