Marketplaces: 3 Ways to Improve your Amazon Seller and Vendor Profits with Martin Heubel (episode 116)

by April Buencamino-dy

Martin Heubel spent 4 years at Amazon managing various FMCG product categories, including working with vendors to expand the range and increase sales. On leaving Amazon in 2021 he founded his consultancy Consulterce to help B2C Household and CPG brands like Adidas, Hero Group, and AG Barr reliably increase their profits with Amazon. So who better to give us the latest tips for upping our Amazon profits!

Martin Heubel Consulterce Marketplaces

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Getting Started at Amazon

Martin began his Amazon career in 2016, taking care of the category Housewares as a buyer for them. By the end of 2018 when he moved to the UK, he became responsible for the CPG grocery category in snacks and desserts, and partly for the coffee categories as well.

What led him to create his own agency Consulterce was realizing the fact that there was confusion on how Amazon works and how you can perform well on the platform. At Consulterce, he supports brands by helping them understand the platform and create profit-oriented strategies. 

Your Product Portfolio

Take the selective approach when it comes to your product portfolio.

Look at the products that have good profit margins and are sold at a price point that makes sense for you and Amazon to sell, even with added handling and shipping costs.

Don’t list everything and wait to see what’s going to stick. Be selective in the products you’re going to put out on Amazon.

Two Ways to Optimise Your Amazon Listings

When you’re on Amazon, don’t just list your products and then forget about them. Martin gives us two ways to optimise your listings:

  • For product selection, make sure you’re able to maintain the availability of the products you list and pair that with a good customer experience to attract more customers. For the product listing itself, make sure your descriptions reflect what your product is about. 
  • Actively manage your product mix and set your marketing budget towards the items generating a good profit for your business.

Managing Your Wholesalers

It may not be profitable for you to compete with your wholesalers on Amazon.

What you need to do is to clarify whom you’re selling your products and what kind of incentive structure you’re giving them.

If you’re granting them discounts for large purchase orders that will last them for three to six months, it would be unprofitable for you to compete with them on Amazon.

Review your distribution network and only work with authorized resellers so you can maximize your Amazon potential, and also protect your brand assets and brand image in the wider market.

Insider Tips

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

Martin says you need to figure out what’s influencing your profit margins and how they’re stacked up on a category or account level.

From there, you can pinpoint which of your products are at a good benchmark level and you’d like to focus on.

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

Create reporting mechanisms for metrics crucial to your profit margins.

Martin recommends a weekly review of your high-level KPIs and a monthly reporting cycle for wider trends. You’ll also need a quarterly performance review to look at microtrends. From there, you can make informed decisions on the different drivers that affect your profitability.

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

Martin gives us two resources on marketplaces.

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

The highly volatile situation the world is currently in will continue so it’s important to have resilient processes in your business. You’ll also need to understand how they’re going to affect your margins.

On the supply chain, find a good way to set that up and ensure the availability of your products for you to continue to thrive over the next six to twelve months.

Interview Links

Martin on Social media:

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