The following is a summary of the key takeaways from a blog post about the shopping experience of an actual Amazon customer.
Meet “J” a health-conscious mother of three (and closet chocoholic) who agreed to document her every move and thought while in search of a bread/loaf pan. Here’s her enlightening journey highlights:
I clicked on the more popular one first, but the bullets and description weren’t impressive. It basically just told me the dimensions. It didn’t include any features, benefits, or uses, so I didn’t stay on that page long.
I went back to that first pan and noticed the highlighted “Product Features” right there on the search results page.
It caught my eye because it said “extra large loaf.”
Seeing those words under “Product Features” made me click.
Continuing the search, I came across one that had little grooves along the pan’s interior.
Having never seen that before, curiosity once again got the better of me. I clicked on it, primarily, to see what those grooves were used for. The bullets and description didn’t provide any explanation. The whole reason I clicked was to learn about those dimples, and they didn’t even mention them. Were they for cooking evenly? Easier release? Texture? Had they explained their purpose and/or benefit, I may have considered this pan.
I almost always look at the pictures first.
I noticed the reviews next. They have a 5-star rating with over 900 reviews. Impressive! The bullets were well-written and informative.
I read the description, which explained the purpose of the lid in creating perfectly shaped sandwich bread.
The line about peanut butter and jelly sandwiches sold me. The whole reason I’m looking for a bread pan is to make healthy bread for my kids, who just happen to devour PB&Js like they’re going out of style. I scrolled back up and added to cart.
I’m pretty sold on this pan, but I always like to look and make sure it’s not being sold cheaper by another seller.
I don’t usually go past the third page of results.
I clicked back over to the USA pan and read some reviews before making my final decision. They were overwhelmingly positive, and dozens of them included pictures of beautiful, just-like-the-store loaves.
At this point, I purchased with confidence and am looking forward to our house smelling of fresh-baked bread!
As you can see there’s several factors determining the buying behaviour.
- I clicked on the more popular one first, but the bullets and description weren’t impressive
- I noticed the highlighted “Product Features”
- I almost always look at the pictures first
- I noticed the reviews next
- I read the description, which explained the purpose
- The line about peanut butter and jelly sandwiches sold me
- The whole reason I’m looking for a bread pan is to make healthy bread for my kids, who just happen to devour PB&Js like they’re going out of style. I scrolled back up and added to cart
- I’m pretty sold on this pan, but I always like to look and make sure it’s not being sold cheaper by another seller
- I don’t usually go past the third page of results
- I clicked back over to the USA pan and read some reviews before making my final decision
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In 2014 Will and his brother sold over $6,000,000 on Amazon.
While most people are trying to sell products in the top category’s, Will takes a different approach.
He finds products that are niches within niches.
“It’s a lot easier to sell 1000 products once a day, then 1 product a 1000 times/day”
He also takes the opposite approach that many people say of buying tons of inventory. He buys the smallest amount possible, tests the market, then improves the product over time.
Here are the main points summarized from Kevin Rizer’s Private Label Podcast of Will Tjernlund.
- He looks for products where their perceived value is MUCH more then their actual cost. For example, he saw 4 concrete coasters were $24.99 and he knew cinder block of concrete didn’t cost that much so he looked online and found they were a fraction of the cost. Example 2: He saw people were selling marijuana sunglasses for $150 and after quick research he found the products were nothing special and he could get them for a few dollars.
- Key Takeaway: Find products that people are paying a lot for and that cost a fraction of the price. This is called high perceived value.
- When researching he goes to AliExpress and see’s if he can find a them there. He ended up find a set a 4 concrete coasters for $6.99 with 20 day shipping and he then puts them on Amazon puts it up as quickly as possible.
- Key Takeaway: Don’t get things perfect with a big order, branding, etc. Apply the Lean Startup model and get something up as cheaply/quickly as possible and make small iterations over time, because doing a big product launch with branding might be a waste of time until you see how the market responds.
- Once his product from Alibaba is up there, he activates some PPC on it and sees within the first 2 weeks whether he gets any sales, if he sells 10 sets out of the 30 then he knows he has something it’s worth pursuing.
- Key Takeaway: Use PPC to drive instant traffic to your product listing. This is the quickest way to see how your market will respond.
- He would keep flipping the AliExpress supplier while he’s finding and negotiating an alibaba supplier so he’s still making cash while looking for a supplier.
- Key Takeaway: Don’t waste time trying to make things perfect. Once your AliExpress product is up and generating some sales source a supplier on Alibaba to grow your business to the next level. Small improvements beat perfect executions. Getting things done in half the time is better then perfect in double the time.
- He’s contacting the new Alibaba supplier while his AliExpress is making money allows him to negotiate a larger order size with a smaller per unit price while also working on the nicer packaging.
- Key Takeaway: Just get something up on Amazon to test the market then negotiate with your next order. Small iterations win.
- Once he’s ready to launch his alibaba product he makes sure his inventory runs out and then he’ll send in the new alibaba product; change the photos, and title.
- Key takeaway: Getting sales from an AliExpress product will give him a listing that’s aged, has sales history, has reviews.
- Lots of people go after sexy and popular products, but he goes within a niche of a niche…its of being dog leash and being on page 100, he does a niche like dog leash for seeing eye dogs, or dog leash for German shepherds and is the 2nd result.
- Key Takeaway: Amazon is massively growing. Instead of going after the main keywords in your category, go for niches within the niche that you can rank easily for. This will give you much faster ranking and then you can duplicate the system to launch more products instead of having your cash tied up trying to get ranking on the top keywords.
“Lots of people go after sexy and popular products, instead go within a niche of a niche”
- Instead of going after the top keyword and selling 1000 a day and making 100,000/day he can sell 5 dog leashes/day and make $10/dog leash and still net him about $16,000-$18,000 per year profit and is a pretty easy set it and forget.
- Key Takeaway: Don’t follow the herd. Main keywords are crowded, whereas the niche keywords are easy to rank and can still generate very healthy lifestyle and can be duplicated.
- He goes wide instead of deep in a market because if you lost ranking on one product you only lose 5% of your total revenue. Instead if your the top dog leash then you lose much more, and you’re constantly worrying about competitors nipping at your feet, piggy backing your listing etc.
- Key Takeaway: More product will diversify your risk. He has a bunch of low key products that fly under the radar, and he never really has anything to worry about.
“You have to remember you’re selling widgets and someone is going to come along and sell a better widget so you have to be willing to have a lot of widgets and not be too emotionally attached. James Thompson (former Amazon executive)”
- He finds product ideas by getting lost on Amazon clicking on the suggested products and seeing what products have the high perceived value, low cost model.
- Key Takeaway: Browse Amazon by looking at the suggested or similar products. You may find some surprising results.
- Usually he has about 10 different products from the same supplier.
- Key Takeaway: Leverage the resources of your supplier. Once you have a good working relationship, see what else your supplier has that you can sell.
- He emails the supplier once every 3 months to say hey I’m running out of stock. Account info is on file.
- Key Takeaway: By having smaller products he doesn’t have to worry much, he just sends an email when his stock is running low and reorders.
Let’s hear your comments. Do have any feedback or suggestions? Did you like this summarization? Will this change the way you launch your products?
Wishing you the ultimate Amazon success!