056 Marketplaces: How to use Amazon to 2x your DTC eCommerce Sales

by April Buencamino-dy

Jon is the co-founder and CEO at Zonguru, an all-in-one toolset for Amazon sellers. He’s been in online advertising and eCommerce for over 15 years. And for the last 6 years, he’s been focused on helping brands sell more products on Amazon, by getting deep into the data.

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What Got Him Into Marketplaces And Starting ZonGuru?

After being in advertising for a long time, Jon transitioned to being an entrepreneur back in 2013.

He happened upon a conference in Las Vegas and learned he could use his creative and business skills to create a brand that would make money for him even while he slept. He did this while still in advertising, and after 9 months he left his first career.

His vision was to grow the private label brand and create sustainable income (which he still does on Amazon with his brother). More importantly, his goal through evolution was to get into the software space and create a toolset for Amazon sellers.

Together with his business partner Adam Hudson who created the education side, Jon handled the software that would support the education bit. This was how they started ZonGuru in 2016.

Overall Vision

Amazon is a very good place to start, but you should have a strategy and a vision for creating a brand and a brand experience outside Amazon.

Amazon then just becomes a channel that drives the overall success of your eCommerce brand.

Your Amazon Strategy

For Jon, the goal is to create a product brand and sell it on eCommerce channels, and Amazon is a good channel at bringing in people who want to buy your products and increase conversion. 

The negatives to selling on Amazon are:

  • They’re in control
  • They own your customer
  • People can come in and compete and you can lose your place.

He suggests to device a strategy that will maximize your reach and conversion in Amazon while delighting your customers in such a way that they’ll buy off of your own website and allow you to build your sales there as well.

Diversify your risk and when Amazon becomes 60 or 30% of your sales instead of 90%, you know you’re growing.

Launching A Product On Amazon

The biggest mistake new Amazon sellers make is they don’t have a strong strategy launching their product.

Amazon will always give a new product a shot so make sure you do the following:

  • Have an amazing listing with amazing visuals of your products
  • Have a great, optimized listing with the right keywords
  • Have strong SEO
  • Have a product that can convert

For the first 2-3 weeks, Amazon is going to give you traffic. Take advantage of this, dominate, and convert. If your conversion rate is high, Amazon will send more traffic your way.

Points To Remember When Selling On Amazon

  1. If you have a trademark, get on the Enhanced Brand Content Program or the A+ Content Program. You will get a lot more support from Amazon so it’s important to try and get on this.
  2. Find the localized style keywords for what you’re selling. ZonGuru’s tool, Keywords on Fire, has the ability to find out what actual customers in that marketplace are searching for that’s relevant to your product. 
  3. How you differentiate your product visually and how you communicate the benefits on the first page 1 matters.
  4. Understand the actual buying process your target audience goes through.

More Tips To Make It On Amazon

  1. Have an alert management tool for any specific change that happens on your listing. This includes alerts for what is happening over at your competitor’s side which can affect your brand.
  2. Do proper inventory management because this is a critical piece in maintaining the success of your business.
  3. Continue to evolve your product.

Insider Tips:

If we’ve inspired someone to take their first step with Marketplaces – what do they need to know to give themselves the best chance of success?

Know your customer. 

Understand their needs, wants, what they love, what they hate. When you understand your audience, your conversion rate is going to be high.

Once you’ve started of course you’ve got to ‘keep optimising’! So what’s your favourite way to improve Marketplace performance?

  1. Test your number 1 image at least once a month.
  2. Use a keywords tool in finding keywords that have great search volume.

If someone listening wants to learn more about Marketplaces is there one cheap/free resource you’d recommend?

ZonGuru has a 13-day challenge that will take you through the exact data and points you need to look at to find a product and a manufacturer, so it’s a great resource you can use.

It’s priced at $50 but you can contact ZonGuru’s support team, let them know you’re a Keep Optimising podcast listener, and you can get into the challenge for free!

Crystal ball time – what’s coming up in the next 6-12 months that we should be getting ready for in Marketplaces?

Get into the emerging marketplaces now if you aren’t already there.

There’s a massive opportunity in traditionally smaller marketplaces such as Amazon Europe, Australia, and India.

Interview Links

Jon on Social media:

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