Originally published on May 7, 2020, updated May 29, 2020
COVID-19 has presented some interesting challenges for brand owners. Liz Fickenscher moderates this panel discussion on short and long-term changes brands are making to succeed during unprecedented times.
Topics covered include:
Get valuable tips to succeed on Amazon in this webinar, featuring five top Amazon experts:
You can watch the branded online eCommerce webinar above or check out the show notes below for the recap and a full transcript.
This might be a bit of an understatement, but you’ve probably noticed that being a brand owner has become a bit of a challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ever-changing eCommerce landscape has always been a bit rough to navigate, but things have become even more confusing during these unprecedented times.
This webinar, led by eComEngine’s Liz Fickenscher and featuring an incredible team of panelists — Greg Moser (ShipCalm), Sajag Agarwal (Movley), Liz Adamson (BuyBox Experts), and Jérôme de Guigné (e-Comas) — includes discussion of topics such as the right way to advertise on Amazon, ensuring quality inspections to protect your brand, and how to determine whether this is the right time to expand to international marketplaces. You'll also get tips for improving efficiency in your shipping, logistics, and supply chain management strategies.
Liz Adamson explained that, when the pandemic first began, there was a huge focus on essential items, as certain products couldn’t even be sold on Amazon. Then, as we settled into a new normal, trends shifted and customers were buying “things like office supplies, puzzles, and things to do at home.”
“It’s definitely been a wild ride,” she conceded, which has made advertising very complicated. “Even if you were selling something that was still in demand, sometimes customers weren't buying because they couldn't get it in time and they'd purchase from somewhere else.” With so much up in the air, tightening the rails on advertising made sense.
Advertising right now will take a lot of work, so here are some steps Adamson suggests taking to give your efforts a boost:
Finally, Adamson warned that we should “never underestimate the power of an optimized listing.” Take a look at your product pages. Do you have high quality images? Is the information about your product accurate and complete? Do you give customers the details they need to feel confident in making a purchase? Devoting time to optimizing all of your listings is more important than ever.
On a good day, Amazon businesses can suffer from quality issues, but Sajag Agarwal of Movley explained that lockdowns and other disruptions have caused bigger problems now. Lead times and costs are a lot less predictable, and it’s more difficult (if not impossible) to carry out a factory visit. You never know where the next outbreak might happen, so it’s best to expect unpredictability.
According to Agarwal, “We're going to see these kinds of shutdowns changing globally in each regional location, which is going to pretty much wreak havoc on those supply chains. When factories change raw materials, there's often a lot of quality control issues... a lot of times they're not really obvious. For example, let's say you have a nonstick coating on your pan. The nonstick coating might not be bonded as well to the metal and it might slip off easier or your fabric products might be fading a little bit quicker or maybe your plastic products have a different texture.”
He added that factories are cutting corners in places that we won’t notice immediately. Instead, these problems will start showing up “a few months down the line in customer reviews or in customer feedback.” It’s very frustrating, and you might be wondering if there’s any way to protect your business from these types of situations.
Greg Moser of ShipCalm shared that, when his clients are onboarding a new manufacturer, he recommends “creating additional SKUs where you have the same listing, but it might have four or five, six different SKUs that are based upon lot number and manufacturer. You can ship inventory into Amazon under that specific FNSKU, which is really tied to a specific manufacturer and a specific lot number. If you find out you start getting negative reviews, you can easily pull that inventory out without disrupting the rest of your inventory there. It sort of creates a little compartmentalized way to have control over that inventory once it goes into Amazon.”
As you probably know, shipping times are all over the place right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fickenscher mentioned an article that discusses how there’s been an increase in negative feedback from customers who may have unrealistic expectations at the moment. If you’ve experienced this, you may be scrambling to figure out a way to fix this problem.
Some sellers have turned to FBM, which Moser said is relevant even outside of these unusual times. “If your product goes on Oprah or something like that, FBA stocks out of stuff all the time because the product just goes on a run,” he said. “So for a lot of our customers that we've had historically, we've always set up our customers with both an FBA and FBM sort of SKU.” It's definitely an important strategy.
Another thing that Moser explained that many may not understand is that it’s actually pretty hard for Amazon to even accept shipments right now. With the FBA flood gates reopened, full truckloads are waiting for a delivery appointment to get on the dock. On top of that, the trucking industry in the United States has been heavily impacted by the pandemic. “We’re just not seeing as many trucks on the road in general,” said Moser.
Moser recommends splitting up inbound shipments to Amazon and sending a small portion of your inventory, about 14 days worth of supply, via a more costly route such as UPS or FedEx. A small parcel delivery can be received more quickly because there are dedicated lanes for inbound shipments with UPS and FedEx, so this can be a smart strategy to work around the current bottleneck.
You’ve already been selling on Amazon.com. Is this the right time to jump into an international marketplace? Adamson said, “Absolutely… eCommerce is currently growing. It's going to continue to grow. Customers are basically learning new shopping habits right now. So it's a good time to get your foot into the market and get your brand out there and get established while you've got so many eyeballs browsing Amazon for purchasing and sometimes for the first time.”
Jérôme de Guigné of e-Comas agreed and mentioned that the biggest market in Europe is Amazon Germany. “Then, you've got Amazon UK, which is following closely, and then the others are much further down. Amazon France is much further down because you've got big local competitors, and then you've got Spain, Italy and Holland, which is really new. Those are less mature markets in terms of eCommerce, but we've seen sales explode in Italy or Spain when they were in quarantine.”
If you’re considering an international marketplace, there are several things to consider. One of the most important, though, is language. You should always hire a professional to help you create product listings in the local language, for example. Google Translate is not enough!
This recap is already jam-packed with information, but there’s even more to learn by listening to or reading the recap yourself! Here are a few additional things the panelists discuss on the recording:
Protecting your business during the COVID-19 pandemic is possible with the right strategy. Don’t waste another day wondering and worrying. Watch this webinar and take action!
Liz F: I'm Liz Fickenscher from eComEngine. I'm going to introduce my panelists in just a second, but today we're going to talk about what brand owners need to do to succeed on Amazon in a COVID-19 world. Originally the name of this webinar was supposed to be in a post COVID-19 world, but obviously as we all know, things aren't moving that way and we still have lots of things in the air, lots of uncertainties and lots of things to think about. But I've got a panel of experts today who's going to tell you what they're seeing in the industry and some tips on how to navigate these uncertain times.
Liz F: So I'm Liz, I'm the industry liaison at eComEngine. We make software tools for Amazon sellers. If you're not familiar with us, then welcome and we're happy you're here. I have also got with me Greg from ShipCalm. I've got Sajag from Movley, I've got Liz from BuyBox Experts and I've got Jerome from e-Comas. These people are all experts in their field. They all have specific niche expertise that I think is really going to benefit you today. So without further ado, I think we're going to dive into the content. I'm going to stop sharing a PowerPoint presentation, I'll pop it back up when relevant. But so things are nuts. Like for instance, in my space we think a lot about seller reputation, seller metrics, that kind of stuff. I just saw an article that marketplace posts put out about a decline in like ... well an increase in negative feedback, seller feedback that's been happening in the industry because obviously shipping times are uncertain. We're going to cover that today.
Liz F: Also, there've been some quality concerns. I know that people are having trouble in their own categories. They're having trouble with advertising. So Liz, I want to cue you up first. What are you seeing with your clients in terms of, I mean obviously when people couldn't sell particular items that were non-essential on Amazon, they needed to dial back their advertising and all that kind of stuff. What kind of trends have you been seeing since this all started and how do you see it going so far.
Liz A: Yeah, it's definitely been a wild ride since we started this two plus months ago, since middle of March. The trends we saw were certainly a huge focus on essential items for that first month or so. And then as Amazon customers and just people around the country began to settle into a new normal of being at home and working from home, we saw that those trends shift into things like office supplies and puzzles and things to do at home and whatnot. And while we were navigating this with advertising, we knew there was going to be shifts in demands all over the place, that there's going to be spikes and dips and whatnot. And we really tried to I guess just kind of tighten the rails on our advertising knowing that, and also Amazon wasn't shipping out FBA products for a while either.
Liz A: And so even if you were selling something that was still in demand, sometimes customers weren't buying because they couldn't get it in time and they'd purchase from somewhere else. And so we just had to just, we pulled back. We manage a lot of our advertising based on ACOS, target based on profitability, I mean, based on lots of other things. But we started being more conservative is what I want to say in our targets. So instead of shooting for like a break even ACOS or being super aggressive, we pulled those back because we never knew, we just weren't quite sure when demand would start to spike again, when it was going to tank.
Liz A: And so we just wanted to kind of level things out a little bit and not be blowing so much money on advertising during a time of uncertainty. So we just, we dropped our targets to be more conservative. We tightened up budgets just to make sure we could ride out the fluctuation. What we did not do is turn off advertising completely. And in countries we had one client who experimented that with just in a few countries. They're in several different international marketplaces and we definitely saw sales just really tank where we had turned off those ads because they'd wanted to save money versus the countries where we kept advertising on. It actually helped them ride out the uncertainty of those first few months by continuing to keep their product above the fold using advertising.
Liz F: That's great information. It occurs to me that I neglected to go over the agenda. The thing is that today we don't really have an agenda. This is not a scripted conversation. This is everybody just getting together and kind of putting their heads together and sharing knowledge about what's going on. And I do want to give an overview of everybody's company and all that kind of stuff. Liz is with BuyBox Experts. That's a great big agency that services Amazon sellers. It's been around for a while. Sajag is with Movley. They are experts in product inspections which is especially important right now. Things have changed a lot. He's got a lot of good information from you. Jerome is with e-Comas. They help people expand to international market places. He's got a lot of insight into which market places are right for which categories and which type of sellers.
Liz F: Greg is with ShipCalm and he's a shipping and logistics expert. And you guys know if you know me, you know that I'm a geek about logistics and supply chain. So that's what's queued up today. Sorry to put that in after I already asked Liz a point blank question. But that's a little bit of background on who everybody is. So jumping off of where Liz left off, Jerome, are you seeing the same sort of trends in international market places in Europe or are things looking a little bit differently? I know that there's been the restriction in France that has been extended longer. What's going on in your space and how does it differ from what's going on in the US and how is it the same.
Jerome: So the same part is that it's been challenging for everyone. Like the truth of yesterday is not the truth of today. And they're very good examples like FBA, if a seller specifically in Europe, because being seller fulfilled prime is a bit complex because of the borders, because of everything. Before you would say, okay, you have to be FBA to be successful. And actually during COVID, you have to be FBM to be successful some of the time because FBA was blocked. So it's about the common thing is about being agile and being very quick to respond and find other options. And the ones which have survived or which had good sales or incredible sales are the ones which were able to pivot and to change things from one day to another. The things which are specific that Europe being a lot of several countries, so altogether they're probably bigger than the US, but like it goes one country after the other.
Jerome: And for example, as you said, France was blocked at one point because the trade unions attacked Amazon because they said it wasn't safe enough. And then Justice said, "Yeah, okay, you can't run." So they were blocked. So if you had your stock in France for example, then it was completely blocked for several weeks. So in that space it's different in the sense that you have to be understanding of the different locations. But on the plus side of that, if one country is blocked, and you have the others, it's not like the entire Europe is blocked. So Europe is so made that it is complex. Once you're inside in all the other countries, you're protected basically because you've got several areas where you still can be successful and do some sales.
Liz F: It's interesting that you would mention that about FBM. We saw a lot of our contacts that were shipping FBM. We actually even installed a little tag in restock pro for people to see what was available to be shipped into FBA and what wasn't during that time. I know that it was mostly opened up. Greg, how has that shift to FBM impacted your customers.
Greg: Yeah, no, I mean I think it's ... yeah, thanks Liz. I think it's impacted our customers greatly. For a lot of our customers, this sort of strategy of having an FBM presence is really relevant outside of COVID, right? Which is if your product goes on Oprah or something like that, FBA stocks out of stuff all the time because the product just goes on a run. So for a lot of our customers that we've had historically, we've always set up our customers with both an FBA and FBM sort of SKU. And so for a lot of those customers that were with us, it was great because there was sort of that fail over that was already in place and we were able to just ship out their FBM orders or seller fulfilled prime orders.
Greg: We've seen a huge influx in our sales pipeline though around people going, "Hey, we need to be up and running with an FBM option or we need to be up and running with a seller fulfilled prime sort of solution." And so we've been fielding a lot of those types of phone calls, educating people and working with them on the cost of those various solutions. So it's definitely an important strategy. I think it has historically been, I think a really good strategy to have generally. But now more than ever, it's an important thing to be thinking of.
Liz F: I agree with that. So I've been really curious Sajag about what's going on in China. I know a lot of sellers that I work with, their factories are in China. They had supply chain issues, they had factories that shut down. What are you seeing in China in terms of manufacturing and what sort of words of wisdom do you have for people who have either resumed manufacture of their products or are looking for alternatives.
Sajag Yeah, that's a really good question. It's actually a pretty big question. So kind of start off with what's going on in China. So as you guys know, so China originally put on a lockdown in Wuhan. And then after that they opened up Wuhan and opened up a lot of different regions. But the biggest thing is COVID has completely wrecked supply chains for raw materials. So the entire raw material supply chain for most factories in China have been disrupted. And normally factories switch raw material suppliers pretty rarely, but right now they're switching pretty constantly almost all the time due to lock downs, backlogs and increase in costs. So when you have a price, you negotiate a price with your supplier and say, "Hey, my lead time is 15 days and this is the same lead time you might have pre COVID or the same cost that you might have pre COVID, maybe a little bit longer lead time."
Sajag The factory's responsibility is to make sure they get your product at that price out to you and on time. So in order to do that, if their raw material suppliers or backlogs say five or 10 days extra than normally present, then they have to go find another raw material supplier maybe at a lower cost or maybe at a higher cost. So you guys haven't heard recently in China, they implemented a new Wuhan style locked down in a city called Chulan. And that means the raw materials in that city and the supply chains in that city have been completely cut off. And these kinds disruptions are going to be pretty normal in the future from what we're seeing. So today might be a Chinese city, tomorrow might be another Chinese city. In a few days, it might be a Vietnamese city or it might be a US city.
Sajag We're going to see these kinds of shutdowns changing globally in each regional location, which is going to pretty much wreak havoc on those supply chains. And when factories change raw materials, there's often a lot of quality control issues. That's kind of what we've been seeing. And a lot of times they're not really obvious. So for example, let's say you have a nonstick coating on your pen. The nonstick coating might not be bonded as well to the metal and it might slip off easier or your fabric products might be fading a little bit quicker or maybe your plastic products have a different texture. And these are, the problem with these kinds of defects is that a lot of these defects, the factory wants to cut corners in places that you're not going to see it readily. So these are not problems you're going to see right off the production line.
Sajag These are not problems you're going to see right after you're getting your production and shipment. These are products you're going to see a few months down the line in customer reviews or in customer feedback. They're very subtle differences that you can't really tell a lot of times visually. And not to mention a lot of factories where we've noticed have actually switched to PPE in some capacity because they want to make more money there with personal protective equipment. And that's actually increased lead times and reduced quality control for standard products they make because now a lot of the resources are pushed into the new manufacturing, especially when putting up new production lines and things like that for PPE.
Sajag They might need a little bit more engineering resources that might've been previously in quality control in their standard production. And yeah, so quality normally goes down in Chinese new year pretty normally. So when Chinese new years happens, there's a new set of workers that come in and then you add that to COVID which the raw material supply chain disruptions and other employee disruptions, which we've not seen that much of. It's more so raw materials. We've actually seen in Movley a huge surge in reinspections due to failed first inspections and actually, and then increase in reinspections after reinspection. So second reinspections too. And so that's kind of been what we've been seeing in China recently.
Liz F: That's wild. So Liz and Jerome, especially you guys work with brands. Are you seeing problems in the supply chain of your customers because of the situation in China? And either one go first.
Liz A: Yeah, yeah, no, we definitely have seen that. There's been some disruptions. When China kind of went on lockdown first and the factories stopped and we had suppliers not only with supply chain disruption with importing from China, but even as the United States started going on lockdown. And some of our clients, there were local governments and such were not allowing warehouse workers to go and start filling orders to Amazon customers or website customers or whatever. And that was kind of on a case by case basis depending on what city some of our clients were located in. And so there were definitely disruptions all the way from trying to get their stuff in from China to even just getting things out to the customer even if they had turned off FBA and started trying to use FBM and then their warehouse was disrupted. Now they're back trying to use FBA again. So it was definitely something they had to be really agile and inventive and creative in trying to figure out how to, well source the product and then ship it out to their customer.
Liz F: What about you Jerome.
Jerome: That will be very similar. Like I remember sending an email blast to all of our customers in February because my background, I worked for a Chinese company, I was head of Europe for a long time so I was very well aware of the lead times and everybody sourcing from China what it meant. And from February I saw okay it will be a disaster. We will run out of stock in probably one month for all of our accounts. So what can we do? So we starting the discussion. And then when things in China started to look a bit better, then we had the problem of having our customers locked down or Amazon locked down or the workers locked down. And exactly like Liz just said is that some of our customers had to say, "Okay, my category is closed by Amazon. I have to furlough people and they can't work so I can't ship and I don't know how to do FBM. So it's like I have to close my company."
Jerome: So some of our customers we know had to close their company and to be honest, some of them have still haven't reopened. So the ones which have survived once again are the ones either they found a way or they had a warehouse which they were doing FBA and they tried to learn FBM. And some of our customers actually said after oh, well it's still during COVID, but said, "Actually our warehouse is not good enough. We need to be able to have option Bs, which we can enable. Like FBA doesn't work, we need to be able to move to FBM. One country doesn't work, we need to be able to move to the other ones." So having different sources in terms of supply and different go to market options let's say, or ways to address your market.
Liz A: Yeah, I'll just add on that if I can Liz. That's something that the sellers that have survived are the ones that had backup plans or backup plans or upon backup plans. Even the ones that had their supply chain disrupted, it was one of them just coincidentally had already been searching for a new supplier out of somewhere in Southeast Asia, outside of China. So they had that going into place already. And it underscores that need for anytime you're selling primarily on Amazon or even just primarily e-commerce or whatnot, understanding that to have those contingency plans available that if you can't get, not being reliant on one manufacturer, not being reliant on one source of order fulfillment, not being reliant on one sales channel, but making sure you've got that diversification, you don't have all your eggs in one basket, those are the Amazon sellers we've seen survive and thrive even in the COVID atmosphere. Because they were able to be nimble and agile and were able to pivot from one plan that didn't work to a plan that was able to fill their needs and continue ... They were able to continue selling products.
Liz F: Greg, what have you seen in terms of creativity that your sellers that you work with have had to ... I know that I just read this marketplace pulse article that said that there had been an increase in negative seller feedback and I'm actually getting ready to do a podcast on why you should monitor your feedback and reviews because yeah, you should. But I can just keep talking about it. But I know that shipping times have been crazy. I know that they're, and I think I want Sajag to talk about product quality mitigation here in a second, but tell me what sort of pivots you saw with your customers. What sort of creative shipping situations have happened, what kind of pain points, just from your perspective as a supply chain expert. I know that you've seen some of the similar things, but have you seen people come up ... Have you come up with some awesome solutions for people.
Greg: Yeah, I think some of them are new solutions that we've come up with. I think some of them are solutions that we've also employed in other circumstances that have worked really well here. So a couple of them that come to mind quickly are right now as you're trying to, as the FBA flood gates are back open, it's taken a long time to even get inventory into FBA still now. Their receiving lines are long and especially if you're sending inventory into them with LTL or FTL shipments, full truckloads or palletized truckloads, those can take a long time. One because it's taken a long time to get a delivery appointment at Amazon right now. So you kind of need to be mindful that actually a trucking company needs to call and get sort of a schedule on the dock there.
Greg: So that's taking a little bit longer right now. And also just the trucking industry certainly here in the United States has been impacted heavily and we're just not seeing as many trucks on the road in general. And so with those things in mind, what we're recommending to a lot of people is splitting up your inbound shipments to Amazon and doing a small portion of your inventory, call it maybe 14 days worth of supply and sending that in in a more costly route, being sort of a FedEx or UPS, right? Doing a small parcel delivery so that it gets in there and gets in there quickly because there's dedicated lanes for inbound on UPS and FedEx, whereas LTL is just taking a lot longer. So that idea of sort of splitting up your inventory is a really important one when you're trying to force it in more quickly that we've been doing that with almost all of our sellers.
Greg: And then I think on the other one and it'll be interesting to hear Sajag's thoughts on this, but from a quality perspective, we have a lot of sellers that are concerned about the quality of their products going into Amazon. And a lot of people that are onboarding new manufacturers during these times and then going, "I don't know how good this manufacturer is going to do at the end of the day." And so what we're recommending there is actually creating additional SKUs where you have the same listing, but it might have four or five, six different SKUs that are based upon lot number and manufacturer. So you can ship inventory into Amazon under that specific FN SKU, which is really tied to a specific manufacturer and a specific lot number. And if you find out you start getting negative reviews, you can easily pull that inventory out without disrupting the rest of your inventory there. It sort of creates a little compartmentalized way to have control over that inventory once it goes into Amazon. So those are a couple of the creative solutions that I think are important now and will be into the future.
Sajag Yeah, definitely. To kind of jump in, I think the last idea is actually an amazing idea. So one of the best ways to actually do this is in your product packaging when you put a sticker up for the FN SKU or even for the UPC, you can add a sticker in and on top of that sticker put in a lot number or something like that, which represents the purchase order and the supplier. So you'll have a unique lot number for the purchase order and the supplier and then you can track that and see if you got a warranty claim or a return, you can see on the box which product was returned and which supplier had that issue or at least which PO had that issue. So even if it's not COVID, you kind of see, okay, which PO is having the issue with raw materials or whatever it might be.
Sajag But one of the best ways to really mitigate quality control issues and kind of a starting point is talk with the factory. So talk with your suppliers and say, "Okay, hey, are you guys having issues with raw materials? Are you guys having issues getting raw materials? Have your suppliers changed? Are they shifting? Has any of these lock downs created disruptions in the raw material supply chain?" So that's a great starting place to just start. Talk to your factory and say, "Okay. Hey, is anything even going on?" Because sometimes some industries may not be completely ... some factories may not be affected, but most factories will be. The second part, and this is coming from a little bit of bias because this is something Movley does, but we always recommend doing product inspections. And it's generally a standard process to do a preshipment inspection before every shipment to check your products and make sure it's good.
Sajag If you guys have already been doing preshipment inspections, a couple of the things you can do to mitigate quality control and make that a little bit lower risk is that first of all, increase sample sizes. So the larger the sample sizes, if it's a level one, move it up to a level two, if it's a level two, move it up to a level three inspection. The larger the sample sizes, the more representative it is of the entire production order. So the more the bigger sample size, the better it's going to be for statistical significance. Number two is decrease the acceptable defect allowances. So a lot of times we've seen buyers go ahead and accept orders. They say, "Hey, I'm at 20 units for this minor defect and the inspection came back at 25 units. We're just going to let it slide. We're going to let the factory kind of go on with this."
Sajag We'd recommend against that. Get really stringent when it comes to buying products for failed inspections and work with your factory to fix problems. Because today it might be, okay hey, my defect allowance is up by five. It went from 20 units, which was allowed to 25 units for a scratch or five units for a major defect and it came out of six on the inspection. So the factory will say, "Okay, hey, it's not a big deal." But if you accept that order and you don't really work with the factory, then it kind of sends a sign to the factory and it sends a signal that hey, we're kind of ready, we're a little bit flexible on our quality standards. And then the factory next time on your next production order might reduce the standards and then it's going to be a quality fade issue. So we really recommend getting stringent and indicating to your factory that we're not going to let you test our limits. We're stringent when we say X, we mean X and you have to comply to that.
Sajag And one of the biggest things as I mentioned with like the nonstick coating, the worst offenders we've seen are not in visual defects, but in actual product function, like the nonstick coating is coming off as I mentioned above. So these types of defects really need QC tests to find. So we really recommend talking with your factory to understand your QC process. So ask them, "Hey, what quality control processes do you have on the production line?" And also research online. And another thing is when you're talking to other suppliers as we were mentioning, you can also talk to other suppliers and ask them how their QC process works and that could be really good. And then you can add that to your inspection as well. So that's kind of really what we recommend. And make sure that you're doing tests on all the units and you understand the process of your testing and working with your factory really closely to mitigate those issues.
Liz F: That's awesome. And you can help with that, right.
Sajag Of course.
Liz F: Yeah, I thought so. So I know we were going to save the questions for the end, but there's this question in the question queue that queues up like three things that I want to talk about. So I'm going to go ahead and entertain this question and I think it will kick off the next phase of this discussion. But someone has asked for someone like me who is just waiting to start an Amazon business and incidentally, she lives in Canada. Is it best to just wait? And I kind of want all of you to weigh in on whether you're brand new and you're going to do reselling, whether you're brand new and you've got a private label, whether you're a brand new brand or you're an established brand that has never sold on Amazon before.
Liz F: Liz, I want you to weigh in on the US side and I know think you've got other marketplace experience, but I want Jerome to sort of address, if someone's already selling on amazon.com, is it now time to start selling in European marketplaces? Greg, I want you to talk about supply chain issues. You guys like help this lady out, but also help me out in understanding. Not that I'm considering it, but it is now a good time to start selling on Amazon.
Liz A: I would say. Absolutely. And being very careful and aware of course that all of these issues have been happening, that there have been disruptions, that FBA has been up and down. The reality is some of these disruptions are knocking competitors out right now. And so there's opportunity to jump in and take the place of a competitor who maybe couldn't weather the COVID, the effects of COVID on e-commerce. And there's also the fact that there has been such a shift in consumer demand. What was popular three, four months ago on Amazon is not showing up in the top 10 search terms right now. We've shifted from your typical electronics and Apple products and whatnot to as of last week we were seeing puzzles for adults and sewing machines and things to entertain kids. And so getting your hands on the most recent customer data, see what customers are buying now versus what they were buying six months ago because it's changed.
Liz A: Find out what they're buying now. Get into those markets where there's high demand and perhaps full competition. But this is the time to really get into e-commerce because this is where we're seeing the growth. I just, I glanced at a news article today and I'm blanking on which company's it was, but they were talking about, might have been Cole's or someone, but their e-commerce sales are through the roof compared to of course brick and mortar, which is down for the quarter. And so e-commerce is currently growing. It's going to continue to grow. Customers are basically learning new shopping habits right now. So it's a good time to get your foot into the market and get your brand out there and get established while you've got so many eyeballs browsing Amazon for purchasing and sometimes for the first time.
Liz F: That's great insight. Jerome, I've talked to several brands and resellers recently who have shown an interest in expanding to European marketplaces especially seeing an opportunity in Germany for a couple of categories. What is your best advice to someone who wants to get started in a European marketplace and is now a good time or should they hold off.
Jerome: So I totally agree with Liz. Obviously she's very wise and knowledgeable. Indeed, like a lot of brick and mortars have fallen down and a lot of like even we ... like in Europe the two you've got the biggest one is Amazon Germany. Then you've got Amazon UK, which is following close and then the others are much further down. So France, Amazon France is much further down because you've got big local competitors and then you've got Spain, Italy and Holland, which is really new. And those are less mature market in terms of e-commerce. But we've seen like sales explode like in Italy or in Spain when they were in quarantine because the quarantine very, very hard at their place and everything was closed and the only thing which was working was Amazon. So a lot of customers started to like, because this culture is like you go outside, you go to market, you meet people.
Jerome: It's much more like you don't sit at home and you order. So this has started a change in their habits of doing things. So we see those markets are really starting to grow and we've seen that with our customers. Now if you want to start in Europe, you've got, it's a bit complex because of the languages and you've got UK with pounds and the rest of Europe was euros. So what you want to do is focus on one market first and then start to expand one by one. So if you're American, probably you would want to go to UK because it's very simple with the language and then you would want to expand into Germany and then build that up. And once that is up, then you can start to go in the other countries, which will always be much smaller.
Jerome: One thing you need to be careful is Amazon tends to oversell the fact that it's very simple to go to export and to go international and saying, "Yeah, don't worry, you go. It's okay." But you have things like VAT, which you call tax, but we call VAT and you need to have a VAT number and to do declaration and stuff like that. So don't believe that it's very simple. It's actually much easier than before, but it's not very simple. You need to be prepared. So going one country at a time, at least you're not taking too many risks.
Liz F: I have a question and I should know the answer to it and we did all this content around Amazon's request to review button and the message that it sends to ask for feedback and reviews, and I don't want to jump right off of this topic into a question I have for Greg about product category. But that message goes to the user's preferred language. From what you guys know, those of you who are inside seller central pretty often on behalf of your clients, are there a lot of different messages and different tools within Amazon where you can communicate with your buyers who are in different countries in their chosen language or is that new feature, new as of the end of 2019 the only thing so far that does that.
Jerome: Well, if you believe that an automated tool can handle the complexity of languages, then good luck. I mean-
Liz F: Well, so that message goes and in the way it's delivered, it's delivered to the recipient's chosen language and it's a new feature.
Jerome: Yeah. Anything automatic, which and sort of preset messages that work very well, but as soon as a customer is asking a question or there isn't any sort of interaction. Obviously when you're doing FBA you've got much less interaction because you don't have the delivery side. But like customer reviews or customer question will come. It's difficult. You have to know the language and you need to bear in mind that most customers will not be comfortable talking, speaking or writing in English like in the different countries.
Liz F: Right. And Google translate doesn't cut it. Trust me.
Jerome: Well, yeah, they might have a good laugh because yeah, it's that's yeah.
Liz F: There are services but it can go pretty pricey if you get somebody to translate all of the communication and on the fly ad hoc different answering customer questions and that kind of stuff. It could get pretty costly.
Jerome: Maybe because you can't have people who can speak five languages or they would be very expensive and they probably don't want with that knowledge to do answering to customer demand. So what we have in our team is we have different people, native people, native speakers basically. And what we do is we typically say, "Okay, we will handle generally all your comments and we help each other out." But obviously if the volume gets too big, then it becomes a very big work. And that can become costly. You're right.
Liz F: So in addition to actually researching your target market in a particular marketplace, you need to be set up to provide the best support in that marketplace and that includes-
Jerome: Yeah. Localize your content, localize your advertising obviously because like sponsored brands you would have the tagline which you have to do in proper French, German or whatever, the local language and also handling customers and reviews. Once again, if you do FBA, honestly, the number of interaction with customers is very limited, is much more limited. But if you're doing FBM, obviously you will have back and forth, where's my parcel and so on.
Liz F: Right. So I want to talk about, we've talked about the types of products that are selling. We've talked about best practices for making sure your sales stand out. We've talked about some exceptional situations where people have really rocked it during this really strange time. But Greg, you have some insight into particular product categories and I think that as the people who are thinking about getting started or the people who are just scaling up, I think they need to think pretty hard about the categories that they're selling in. And I've got a sign you gave me if you want me to share that.
Greg: Yeah, sure. You can pop that up. I think generally speaking, to get back to that question we were just talking about is now the right time to get involved? I think the answer to that is yes, right? You talk to any investor, they're going to tell you that during a massive disruption is usually where you find the best opportunities. That's where you're going to find the silver linings in things and be able to really set yourself up for the next decade. Not just the next 30 days, 90 days, whatever, but for the longterm. So I think it's a great time to get involved. I think there's two things that make it really great right now. It's a bit unique. One of those things is that there's a lot of people looking for ... there's a lot of traditional retailers looking for help, right.
Greg: So you may not even need to invest in inventory right now, just getting involved and taking a partnership with somebody who had inventory that was previously going to be sold at retail. If you want to get into Amazon and this is new to you, that's a great strategy, right? Find the neighborhood, a retailer that's trying to figure out how to do this and say, "Hey, I've been learning about Amazon for the last six months. I can help you do this. Why don't we go in on this 50/50. Right?" So that's a really important one. I think you should be looking for those types of opportunities because they're rampant right now. The other thing is making sure that you're not getting sucked into the right now, but really getting involved in the product categories that are going to become the new normal, right.
Greg: So I might discourage you from trying to get involved in selling PPE for example, hand sanitizer, right? Yes, that market has been on fire, but trust me, we've been dealing with nothing but very seasoned, well-funded folks getting into that space competing very well and driving those prices down. Right? So these immediate sort of product categories I think I would recommend staying away from. What I think is particularly interesting is this slide here, which we ran in February, which was the percentage of retail sales by category. And this is retail versus e-commerce or the percentage that was retail. So the books have always been sold on Amazon. Books are going to continue to be sold on Amazon. Not a tremendous amount of new opportunity there. Same thing, Liz mentioned the consumer electronics. We've seen that being a hot category on Amazon. We would expect that to remain the same.
Greg: But when you cycle down the list towards the bottom here where you look at things like food and beverage. Yeah. People used to go in the grocery store. Well guess what? A lot more people are ordering their groceries on Amazon than they ever have before. Auto and parts. That's an area that I'm particularly interested in. Some of those places were able to stay open, some of them weren't. But I think when the market comes back, whether or not they'll be able to open back up or whether they will be yeah, able to survive. And so you can go up this list of categories from the bottom to the top and say, "Huh, maybe health and personal care is an area that traditionally people were buying those products at CVS, but now with them not wanting to go to CVS as much are going to be doing more of that purchasing on Amazon or any other online platforms."
Greg: So this is the sort of list that we're looking at because I think this is really more of the macro economic trend that's going to be very viable for the next year or two years, 10 years to come. So for what it's worth, I think just considering what this is going to do to the overall commerce landscape is really important.
Liz F: That's awesome. Thank you for that. Back to the should you do it now or should you wait? From a manufacturing perspective, if someone is just getting started, and I know that you guys Sajag don't necessarily help people find manufacturers, but given what you know about what's going on in the sort of the hottest manufacturing areas of the world, is now a good time to actually start a new manufacturing relationship with a manufacturer overseas.
Sajag Yeah, potentially. It could be a really good opportunity or potentially a really bad opportunity. It really depends. If you're doing some heavy R&D, it might be a good opportunity, but more likely than not, a lot of suppliers may not weather the storm. But most of them are. So it's a little bit hard to kind of go on that perspective. But with brick and mortar sales falling, there's been a lot of room opening up on some really top tier suppliers that are looking to build production and get production going. So a lot of suppliers are now willing to accept MOQs that are way lower than they normally would. And also these are not like new suppliers or suppliers that have just been operating for a few years. A lot of times these are suppliers that have been operating for a very long time working with major retailers and now their production volumes are down significantly.
Sajag So in China at least when you go in, you build a relationship with a sales agent and that kind of time, maybe you get one order in or at least start talking about doing business. Then when business starts ramping up, they're also way more amicable. They're readier to cooperate with you. So even if you negotiate today that, hey, are you ready to do an MOQ of 500 units or 1000 units instead of 5,000 units, and the supplier says yes. Even if production starts ramping up in a few months, more likely than not, they're going to honor that. And they're going to say, "Okay, yeah, we talked about it, we said 1000, we'll still do it." And it can be a really good time to go in and build those relationships right now.
Liz F: Great. All right, so I'll see you guys. I'm going to go get started using all the stuff I've learned today to get ... no, I'm kidding. I just don't have the temperament to be a ... I'm not brave enough. Liz are you, and I don't like to talk about myself and all that kind of stuff, but are you seeing an increase in, this is something that I've been particularly interested in lately, not just in terms of feedback and reviews, but in terms of just seller metrics in general, has this hurt a lot of sellers performance metrics? I know that Amazon has been a bit lenient about inventory performance index and that kind of stuff since that was out of the seller's control. But I know that I have some brands that had ODRs fall, order defect rate and that kind of stuff. Are you seeing a struggle to kind of keep up with metrics or do you think Amazon's giving everybody a break about that.
Liz A: When it comes to seller help, we did ... Amazon had announced that they were not going to enforce ODRs and some other metrics based on on-time shipping and fulfillment. Excuse me. I believe I'm going to have to check the date. I believe that ends June 1. So we do need to be watching for that.
Liz F: Yeah, I think you're right about that.
Liz A: Sorry about that. So because Amazon knows, and there's been a lot of news articles too circulating lately about how customers are starting to get a little set up about, hey, I paid my $119 or whatever it is now for prime. I'm not getting my two day shipping. Why on earth am I paying for this? And Amazon knows that it needs to get back to the status quo sooner rather than later or it's going to continue to bleed customers to Walmart, Target and other online marketplaces. So sellers need to be stepping that up as well. So you've now had two months, two plus months to deal with COVID and knowing that life is not operating normally anymore. You should have plans in place at this point to make sure, okay, now that restrictions are starting to lift, at least in the United States, most states are starting to lift all sorts of restrictions.
Liz A: You need to be able, you need to have those plans in place. If you're still shipping FBM, you got to start buckling down and make sure you're shipping things on time. Start using FBA again if you stopped for a while because FBA seems to be operating mostly at a normal rate at this point. And because we are seeing that customers are ... there's those rumblings of what happened to my two day free shipping? And we've got to get back to that point. We can't keep expecting customers who are also extremely tired of the quarantine just as we are. I mean they would love to see life get back to normal. We need to do everything we can in our logistics and shipping and all those metrics that go along with it to make sure we're getting back to as normal as possible.
Liz F: That's great advice. We're getting to the three quarters of an hour. We try to end these about five till 2:00 to give you five minutes of your day back, about five minutes earlier than a whole hour. So if you do have questions, pop them in the Q&A, we're going to tackle those at the end. We have quite a few, but I think we have time for a few more. So if you've got burning questions for this panel, just go ahead and put them in there. Somebody has raised their hand a couple of times, if you will put your question in the Q&A because I don't know what to do with the raised hand thing. Sajag could probably tell me even though he doesn't use Zoom, but that's neither here nor there.
Liz F: Jerome, I'm curious and I think that probably my ignorance will benefit other people which is obviously the best case scenario if you do have a particular area of ignorance. But I know a lot about what policies and seller metrics are in the US. I know that there are things that are in European market places that are different. The way Amazon Europe works is not exactly the same way Amazon US works. What's going on in terms of seller health there because of the shipping restrictions, because of the lockdown. Is it a big change? Is that a problem? Is Amazon being cool over there? What's going on in your neck of the woods.
Jerome: Yeah. So one thing you have to understand, and it's very funny that each Amazon country was built, like the infrastructure was built by different teams and marketplace and retail so like seller and vendor was done by different teams. So what you end up with is like, it's a maze of different things and some things are working in one country, not in another one. So now they've put in the same team, marketplace and retail worldwide. So now they're trying to have bridges between the two teams, but it's clearly that if sometimes they're working also on a pan European base that the databases were not linked. Like if you were creating a product in UK, it wasn't linked to the other countries specifically on the vendor side. So you have to have this in mind. It means that it's a very chaotic ovary on the organized way of how things are in Europe.
Jerome: So this means they have to do a lot of things to try to unify. And in any case, they are late compared to the US. So what they enforce in the US, it takes a couple of months or years to be enforced in Europe properly. So for now, we haven't had pressure on that. What's happening in Europe is mostly because like socially the governments have been more and more conscious that Amazon was trying to tax evade. So basically what happened is that Amazon set up the global operation HQ in Luxembourg and was doing all the invoices from Luxembourg, so tax evading from each country. So that was socially, that put a lot of pressure and the government started to put more and more pressure on Amazon to enforce like VAT, making sure that Amazon was liable if someone was not paying his taxes like if a seller is not.
Jerome: So that means Amazon had to enforce a lot of rules. And for example, if you don't comply with the VAT rules or what Amazon believes is the VAT rules, they will suspend your account. And if anybody's got experience with seller performance team, they know how unperforming this performance team is in the sense that they never reply to any emails or it's very complicated. So our pressure is more on the like the legal side. Now they're asking like even when you're opening a seller account, now as they ask more and more data from the company. We did one for a big group and like they were ... Amazon was asking who has got the power of signature? Like the multiple people and we need the passport ID and the picture of the passport and the utility bill of many people.
Jerome: And that's more or less we are more in that space. And I think that's because the governments have put a lot of pressure on Amazon. Say okay you need to make sure the companies are real companies and people are not escaping tax and so on. So on the delivery, honestly we are okay. It's more on the legal side and VAT and stuff like that where, and that would probably be the tip for the US businesses wanting to go to Europe. You need to make sure you have someone helping you. We can but there are a lot of other peoples which can help you to understand, go through the maze. Yeah. Yeah. Who can help you to do that, understand and be careful because once your account is suspended, it can be very, very complicated to get it unsuspended.
Liz F: That's great advice. And actually that dovetails nicely into a question that we have. We've got an attendee who's anonymous. I hate when you guys are anonymous. I like to know who you are. But they've been selling on Amazon and FBM, fulfillment by merchant, for six years now. And they want to know how to expedite questions and fixes from Amazon. They're increasingly nonresponsive. And when something breaks down on their end, they're not hugely helpful getting things fixed. What's the best way to approach Amazon to get issues resolved? And Liz I'm going to lob that to you. And then I have my own kind of answer to it, but-
Liz A: Yeah, and it's gotten increasingly more difficult in the last two months maybe because they've been, seller support has been swamped just with everything going on. And I don't have a magic bullet for especially ... I think at one point they even shut down phone lines. Historically and traditionally what we've always recommended doing is first make sure you've got all your documentation in place. Whatever problem you're trying to answer, make sure you're answering their questions directly. You've got supporting documentation. You're following, if you're submitting a POA, that you're following step by step what they're asking you to do. And if they haven't responded a few days, then follow up. Feel free to follow up on a weekly basis if you're not getting response back from the seller performance team.
Liz A: If you're working with regular seller support, we often just try to get on the phone and if the person on the phone, rather than trying to ... because often you'll submit that case that goes into a black hole somewhere. You're waiting 24 hours for someone to respond and then they didn't respond well. And so the next day you're saying, "No, please read my question again." And anyway, it takes way too long. You're waiting days, 24 hours between responses. So get them on the phone and if the person on the phone does not seem knowledgeable about what you need to do or if they don't have the ability to do what you need them to do, it has to be escalated to leadership or the captive team. And try to keep moving up that chain, so to speak until you can get to someone who can actually understand that you might need a more creative solution than what's in their SOP manual.
Liz A: Because really frontline workers, they're spitting back a canned response based on the standard operating procedure manual and trying to match up your question as best they can with whatever response might work. And a lot of times you got to get past that frontline person, you got to get escalated to someone in leadership or captive or someone who can be more creative about the problem and have the authority to kind of go beyond the standard operating procedures. It's definitely not simple. And I wish I had a real magic bullet. I don't there, it's a lot of times it's just persistence, politeness. Don't ever be rude. Once you start slamming on Amazon or showing your anger, you're not going to get very far at all. I always just insist, be polite, be polite, be polite, be clear, be concise, restate your question as many times as you need to. But yeah, try to get off of that frontline worker if they're just shooting back canned responses.
Jerome: Yeah, and I wanted to add this that a lot of Amazon has said to their workers, they can work from home and I think that has decreased efficiency of support. And the second thing is that part of our team is in India. And I don't know if you know the news in India, but COVID is not calming down. It's like, it's a big issue over there. The number of cases is increasing a lot. So most probably that a big part of their support team is Indian. So most probably they're having a issue there. So it's no wonder the effecitivity or the efficiency of the guys doing the support is less because probably they can't go out or they have issues at home. So unfortunately, that's one of the effects of the crisis.
Liz F: I thought we were all more productive working from home. Liz was talking about, oh, we're all wearing our work shirts and sweat pants. I'm sure that there are lots of sweat pants sales on Amazon. We have a couple of more questions and then I want to go over the special offers. If you guys have further questions for any of these panelists, we can definitely provide contact information in the followup email and we're going to send with this recording. So I'll include those email addresses. You'll be able to reach out to these people directly, take advantage of their special offers. They're awesome. They're all super, super great to work with. Trust me. I know because we put together this webinar together. We do have a question about PPC and then how it's more aggressive now. Keywords that were doing well two months back are not doing as well. Now things are back up to speed. So there are people that are spending a lot of money right now. Are there any strategies that can help reduce costs that increase efficiency and effectiveness? Magic bullets perhaps.
Liz A: It's a lot. It's definitely a lot of work. When the crisis first hit, we started going through those search term reports and keyword reports and looking for things like changing cost per clicks, changing conversion rates, changing click through rates. And for some of our sellers where it really just got out of control, we just paused any keywords that were just starting to skyrocket, knowing that that just wasn't a place to spend our money right now. And then focusing on the keywords that as you dig through those reports, you're going to find keywords that have lower cost per click as your competitors start dropping out. Words that have higher conversion rates because it's just a new search term is starting to trend. And so go through those search term reports and look for where things are changing compared to three months ago.
Liz A: And feel free to ... it may be the most popular keyword, but if you're not converting on it and making money on it, you may want to think twice about spending on that. And then the other thing we're encouraging is get beyond keywords. Amazon has this year been aggressively expanding the advertising tools. And so while keyword search is still going to be the majority of your ad spend and sales, for sponsored products and sponsored brands and the new sponsor display beta, those go beyond keywords. You can target categories, you can experiment with sponsored display and start retargeting people who visit your page but not purchased. Sponsored brand video just went into open beta either last week or this week, but it's coming soon. We should see that start to hit most seller accounts in the next couple of waves.
Liz A: So start experimenting with video ads. So don't pigeonhole yourself in the traditional sponsor product, automatic manual campaign. That's where the focus was two years ago. Amazon is aggressively expanding advertising. You've got to look at these other medias. You've got to look at headline ads. You've got to look at sponsored display, you've got to look at video, you've got to expand beyond keywords. And especially when things are so crazy right now in influx, I don't recommend that you, like if you've never used sponsored display, don't set up 10 campaigns each spending $500 a day, blasted across your entire catalog. Start experimenting with smaller budgets, with a very small subset of your campaign.
Liz A: Figure out what works for you and what doesn't because what works for one seller, it may not work for you. And so you've got to just allocate some of your advertising budget every single month to experiment and figure out which of these new features Amazon is rolling out is going to work for you. And then the last thing I would mention is if your conversion rates are dropping, go take a look at your product page and your pricing and your ship dates and other things and figure out why are the people not converting. Is it something I can control or change? Is it time to upgrade my images or my bullet points or should I get a storefront up and going? And so look at those advertising metrics, figure out where the weaknesses are and then figure out what you can control and what you can improve to get a better return on your spend.
Liz F: Never underestimate the power of an optimized listing. We do have a question and I know the answer, but if anybody else does this, raise your hand or speak up. But are there any legal and working strategies to remove unauthorized rogue resellers from Amazon? Jerome yeah.
Jerome: Well, the first thing is you've got to two levels is like Amazon will not help you to handle your distribution strategy. So they will not help you stop like sellers, if someone has bought legitimately a product, they won't stop him from selling on Amazon. So they will not enforce your distribution strategy. The other thing is they do have tools which you need to use, which is brand illustration where they can help you when someone's infringing a patent. And the second thing is a transparency program where you can enforce, have labels, which you can put on your products, which if someone has not got those labels on the products, that means they didn't buy the legitimate product. So they will stop them. But most of the time people would like Amazon to say, "No, I choose for you which one can or cannot sell." That doesn't work if it's only to control your distribution.
Liz F: There are providers in the industry that focus on this specifically. So the person who asked this question, if you want an intro, just email me email@example.com and I'll point you in the right direction. I actually did a webinar with him not too long ago and they've been and should be pretty successful at helping get to the bottom of it and find the resellers and get them to go away.
Jerome: And one key learning very quickly that in the US you can enforce map policies, you can discuss with sellers and you can have this kind of discussion. In Europe you cannot, like map policy is illegal. You cannot force lower. Like they can go as low as they want. You cannot enforce anything and presumably you cannot stop them from selling on Amazon. So that's one big issue when you're looking into distribution. If you want to go into Europe, you need to make sure you don't give your products to too many distributors, otherwise you won't be able to control anything.
Sajag I would also like to add something real quick. So in the past, what we've seen some of our clients do as well, going back to what Greg was saying with the lot numbers, those can be really useful, especially if your factory is selling your stock to someone else. You can see, okay, hey, this is my lot number. We had a client one time who was getting sales that someone listed on their listing and the same product. And the client felt pretty confidently like this is a counterfeit, there's no way that could get this many units especially at this price. So what's a really good strategy, and this requires a little bit of big credit limits in a temporary time being, but they just bought out all the inventory.
Sajag So the seller listed like a hundred units on prime or whatever and they were sure it's counterfeit. They just bought out all the units and then when the units came, they filed A to Z claim and that would help at least alleviate the few days or whatever lead time there is when a case or something like that was filed between Amazon taking it down. And it also kind of helps prevent those guys from popping up again.
Liz A: And I'll just put it in a plug for a really good book that just came out into the market. If you really want to dive into this topic and get some good reading on channel governance is called Controlling Your Brand In The Age of Amazon. It was written by James Thompson and Whitney Gibson. They both have years and years of experience in this exact problem coming at it from both a legal perspective and specifically on how to do it on Amazon. So I would recommend that book if you really want to dive into the all the nuts and bolts of this topic.
Liz F: It's really good. We are right at time. I just can't seem to end these on time. I just like talking to you guys and everybody has questions. I'm going to share our special offers because we do have some special offers. They are up here on the screen with eComEngine. We'll do a free seller health assessment. Just go to ecomengine.com and hit the chat and we'll ... or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will hook you up. Jerome, do you want to talk about your special offer.
Jerome: Yeah, I'll make it crisp and clear. And so we have got a new type of audit tool where we're using artificial intelligence and sentiment analysis especially on a lot of feedback you get an analyzing tons of data and also obviously conversion rates and logistics things and advertising and it's a new tool we've just launched. So if you're interested, go to ecomas.com or to the email you will receive in the followup email.
Liz F: Awesome. And then Liz.
Liz A: Yeah, we're offering a free 30 minute consultation with one of our experts here at BuyBox Experts. You can do that. The link on the slide, which is buyboxexperts.com/free-analysis. And that will be in the followup email as well. But they'll sit down with you and do that free consultation with you.
Liz F: That's awesome. All right, Sajag.
Sajag Awesome. So Movley's giving a 15% off your first inspection. So generally our inspections, we have a team right now in China and we're US-based, but we use technology and better inspection process to do highly effective inspections for pretty much the same price as our Chinese counterparts. So we're really excited for you guys to find out and we have just mention the eComEngine webinar when you guys fill out the form on our website or book your inspection.
Liz F: That's awesome. Greg, how about you?
Greg: Yeah, definitely. So for anybody who is interested, especially now in figuring out their FBM and seller fulfilled prime strategy for right now or in the future, right? We're offering a sort of a free audit to tell you, to help you understand what your costs are going to be. What your unit costs are going to be and what the unit economics of this are going to be and where we might be able to save money or where we might be able to cut, where it might end up costing you a bit more. But if you just want to learn about it, that's what we're offering.
Liz F: I highly recommend that you guys take advantage of all of these special offers because these guys are amazing to work with. Two last questions real quick. I'll answer them because we're running out of time. But somebody asked to repeat the book name, it's Controlling Your Brand In The Age of Amazon: The Brand Executive's Playbook For Winning Online by James Thompson and Whitney Gibson and we'll put a link in the email to that. Colin keep me honest, make sure I do that. And somebody asked if there are any updates on prime day. Prime day is going to be in September this year, so we'll see how that works out in terms of Q4 and we might have a whole webinar about that. Who knows? But my deepest appreciation, thanks and affection for our panelists today. You guys have been amazing. Again, thanks for attending, our wonderful attendees that are so faithful and ask such great questions. We'll be sending you guys an email with contact information for all these great folks and all of the resources that we promised. We'll see you guys next time. Thanks so much and have a great day.
Originally published on May 7, 2020, updated May 29, 2020
This post is accurate as of the date of publication. Some features and information may have changed due to product updates or Amazon policy changes.