Scott: Because the question from our student here was, “Is my business and products even worth saving? Can you just give me your honest opinion? This is what I have. This is what I’ve done. This is what I’m struggling with. This is what I want to do or this is what I think I should do. Should I?” And it’s a great question but there’s a lot of questions that we need to answer and there’s also a lot of digging that we need to do because we need to kind of evaluate where the business is and then also the competition and also, is it a brand and variations and all of that stuff? And that’s really what we dig into but you’re going to see here, you’re going to hear how Chris and I are going through this and as we’re going through it, we’re learning more and then we’re digging more and then we are discovering that there are opportunities here and probably not give up on this. And here are some things that you can do to really take what you have and focus on the things that could really drive and move the business.
All right. So, definitely going to be something you’re going to want to listen to. Also, probably take notes or you can just head over to TheAmazingSeller.com/482. Now, I did break this up into two different episodes because, well, number one, there’s a lot of meat in there. There’s a lot of takeaways. That was number one and I’d like to keep these at about 30 to 35 minutes so that’s what I did is I just broke it up and I also I think you can digest it a little bit easier if you just put it in like chunks, smaller chunks, smaller pieces and you might want to go back and listen to this one again as well because, again, like there’s a lot of things in here, a lot of takeaways, and these are live situations. These are things that are actually happening in someone's business. The cool thing about this though, guys, is we're not like, “What if this happens?” Like, a lot of it has already happened. So, now we can say, “Okay, you’ve already started,” which is another big little highlight moment here for you guys. Really, you got to think to yourself, “If I don’t start, how can I adjust? How can I make the next move if you don’t start?”
[00:03:54] Scott: And you're going to hear how one of our students here got started and where they are right now which they think they might be able to move forward but they're just not sure because they're not seeing the numbers that they want to see. So, we're going to go ahead and help them get past this and I think anyone out there right now that has already started and that might be stuck or struggling or thinking to themselves, “Should I just move on?” this might help you. This might actually answer some of those questions that you have. Because there’s a couple of mistakes that we uncovered actually really early in this call and you’re going to hear how we talk about restructuring that and it will actually make it even more powerful and a little bit easier for the brand owner to continue to push this.
All right. So, I’m going to stop talking now so you can enjoy this. Again though, guys, this is part of our Private Label Classroom. It’s our TAS Breakthrough U Community which is part of our Private Label Classroom. It’s our monthly community where we jump in and we get on two monthly calls. Usually one of those is a hot seat. If you guys want more information about that, I don’t generally talk too much about our private classroom here on the podcast but I’m going to today because this is part of it. This is what we do on a monthly basis. So, definitely go check out PrivateLabelClassroom.com. You’ll get more details there and, yeah, if you want to check it out, go ahead.
All right. So that’s it, guys. I’m going to go ahead and turn it over to Chris and I talking with our student here in this live hot seat. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy.
[00:05:22] Chris: So, the first hot seat we have today, Scott, is from Shav Stafford and he says, “Hey, I’m a new student in the classroom but I’m not a new Amazon seller *winky face*. I have some questions about my existing listings. Basically, my product is just not selling well.” He provided us with the ASIN so, Scott, you and I can take a look at that in the background. He gave us a little bit more detail here and said, “I launched the first one four months ago and the other three were variations which I launched in December. I’ve run Facebook ads with no success. All I earn from sales I’m paying out in PPC. Basically, I haven’t pulled a single dollar in profit in the last four months and I can’t figure out why. Sad. I have also listed the products on eBay, tried different titles, keywords, etcetera. I’m getting help from Splitly and keeping the best version of all photos, bullet points, etcetera. Now I’m getting to the point where I think I better get rid of them but before I do that, I want to know your thoughts and advice, please,” and he gave us the ASIN. And, Scott, if you don’t have those, I’ll send those to you kind of in the background here.
And he said, “If you think I should go ahead and liquify them,” I think he means liquidate but I like liquify better, “What is the best way to do that and what is the best landing page for Facebook ads to bring traffic to my Amazon listing and collect emails?” So, basically, Scott, a three-barrel question here. The first is let’s take a look at those listings, see if we can identify what the issue is. Two, let’s talk a little bit about kind of a decent strategy that he may be able to use here for some Facebook ads if that’s what he wants to do and then, three, we’ll give our thoughts on should he liquidate, liquify, however we want to do that. So, do you have those ASINs or would you like me to…
[00:06:57] Scott: Yeah. I do have them and I’m kind of queuing them up right now in the background and it looks like the first two that I just looked at are pretty much the same.
[00:07:08] Chris: They’re all variations of the same product.
[00:07:09] Scott: Okay. So, and yet you and I did talk a little bit about that before we even jumped on. That’s my first recommendation. I’m kind of curious why we launched these on four different listings or five different listings. Why didn’t we just include them as the variations underneath a parent? That would be my first question. Because here’s the deal. If you have four or five SKUs and they’re all the same product but just different variations, it might be blue, it might be red, why would we want to spread that out amongst four or five listings that we have to manage separately? We have to have everything else inside of that. If you’re worried about reviews, you have to do that. You have to figure out, “Well, I got 10 on the one but I’ve only got five on the other. I wish I could have all of them and have 15 on the one,” like that could be a problem.
And then the other thing is when you have those variations there, you also are able to then play around with some pricing where you can actually have a lead in like let’s say that you’re selling and you’re not but let’s just say that you were selling like a three pack, a five pack and a 10 pack. Well the three pack could be the low-end and then obviously the five pack is going to be the higher end and then you’ll get people coming in that normally wouldn’t have come in at the higher price point so you’re bringing traffic in and then selling once they get to the listing whether they’re looking at other features, and I have to say the pictures look really good. The pictures definitely show what it is if I’m looking for this thing. They’re clean. They look professional and there’s definitely some, I guess, product shots but then also how it’s being used, some explanations. Really detailed stuff. So, I don’t think the pictures are necessarily an issue. I think it’s more of right now my only issue is and we’ll move forward here, Chris, and I want your thoughts, that’s my first thing like why did we spread those all out?
[00:09:07] Scott: And I guess the next question would be like if you wanted to consolidate them now that would be a better question for you, Chris, how would you go about doing that? Would you do that or would you just then close out those other three or four and then just kind of create three or four new variations under the parent?
[00:09:24] Chris: So, a few things on this and that was my initial gut reaction too, Scott, because when you and I went through and we were looking at this said, “Oh look, here are four ASINs. It's four different products,” but as we copied and pasted them into Amazon, they’re all the same product and he does have them set up as two variations. So, it looks like it’s two different products on two variations. Scott, you’re looking at them right now. Does it make sense to have them on the same listing like is it actually the same product on those two different listings? That’s what I’m trying to find out.
[00:09:57] Scott: Yeah. It’s really hard for me to tell. Again, maybe if I was looking for these, in particular, it would. They are a little different as far as the look a little bit, but my other thing is and again, Chris, maybe what I’ll do is while you’re maybe digging in a little bit yourself, I’ll go ahead and pull us up on Jungle Scout. We can actually see and kind of tell people that are watching and listening what do we think about the numbers. First off, I think that the market it’s a great market, but I think it’s very competitive without even digging any further like I don’t even have to go any further. I know it’s going to be competitive.
It’s kind of like we can use the example and it’s not 100%. We’ve used the example of like a vitamin C serum or something like it’s something that could be that competitive. If you’re going into the dieting market, it’s going to be very competitive. Unless you can find a way to really angle yourself and position it towards one specific thing, I think this is going to be a hard road to travel. Now, I’m not saying it’s impossible at all but definitely it’s going to have some competition. So, Chris, why don’t you talk a little bit about what you see. I’m going to go ahead and pull it up in Jungle Scout.
[00:11:18] Chris: So, what I found, Scott, and I just took a quick look at it, what it looks like here is, one, the two listings that are set up as variations so there’s four SKUs, guys, two on each listing basically. So, he does have some variations set up. What it looks like to me is the difference is one has an additional thing. So, it’s a vitamin C serum and a face scrubber versus just a vitamin C serum. And then there are quantity variations so it's two bottles of vitamin C serum and four bottles of vitamin C serum on each of those. For me, I would still put all of those on the same listing. Now, not every category is going to allow us to do that in a way that makes sense but usually, you will have something like size and color which you could use for that or name and size or something like that, size and quantity a lot of times will show up. There's almost always a category, a subcategory or like a parent-child relationship type, I think it's what it's called that will make that work for you.
The reason that we like to have those variations on the same listing as long as it makes sense is because we get the opportunity to cross-sell or upsell somebody when we get them there. And that’s always kind of my default position. Now, you also have some people like the Armstrongs who have 7,000 variations and that’s only a slight overestimate if – can you hear Melissa nod at those? I’m sure they can yell at me and tell me the actual number. But at some point, it doesn’t make sense to have all 7,000 but, in this case, we’re dealing with four and it’s basically a size and a type. So, it will be two with the face scrubber, two without, four with the face scrubber, four without. If I’m driving traffic to that listing, I want people to see all four of those options because I want them to pick the one that makes the most sense for them. That is almost always going to increase our conversion rate.
[00:13:15] Chris: If we can get them the choices, that way they don’t have to bounce back to the search results which is a negative strike against our listing, right? We got a visitor, it didn’t convert, they went back to the search and went back to another listing before they bought. Amazon doesn’t want to see that. They want to see people coming through search and buying it so if we can keep them there and we can get that listing in front of them with all of the options, that’s going to help us increase conversion rate. Scott, were you able to pull up those numbers?
[00:13:40] Scott: I was. Here’s the other thing I’m noticing now, and this is again if you are looking at competition or if you’re just looking at your own listings or your own titles and bullets and all that stuff, you really need to look and see what they are targeting. I’m finding, Chris, that in by looking at this and I’ll give some examples that we can share without obviously revealing but here we’ve got I’m counting one, two, three, four. Let’s call it four different markets that I’m calling out in the title. So, it’s kind of like I called out like if you were saying that vitamin C serum would help your skin or let’s say it would help your face and then you would go to the next one and say that it will also help, I don’t know, your legs and then the next one would be your arms and then like it’s not specific. It’s going all over the place.
I think that if you just focus on one area that it was going to benefit and to help and you really drilled it in there and when people would look they’d be like, “Oh, this thing is specifically built for this. It’s not like a thing that will work for this, this, this and this. It’s not like I always use the saying like jack of all trades, master of none. It’s kind of like you don’t want your product to be like that either. It kind of works for this and it kind of works for that. It kind of works for that. You wanted to specifically work for that. Same thing like I used the example if you are looking, well, I’m starting softball pretty soon, so I would find things that said softball that I know they’re made specifically for softball versus just baseball. It’s different. There’s a difference there. Now, if I’ve seen that, “Yeah, you can use these batting gloves for softball, for regular baseball. You can also use it for golf,” I’d be, “Eh.”
[00:15:40] Scott: But if I found it’s just the gloves are made for golf or the gloves are just made for whatever, large hands, I mean it could even be that. You have to find that specific thing and here I’m finding they’re calling out like at least four different ones. When I do that, I went in and I took each specific one and then I did the search. And when I did the search like the first one, the products, I mean, the reviews are really low so that means my competition’s probably low but the price point’s kind of low too. I mean, the most expensive one is like $22, no, $39 but all the other ones are like the ones that are selling anyway are like 470 sales, $6.97.
[00:16:26] Chris: For the same thing?
[00:16:27] Scott: For the exact same, well, let me see here. Yeah. I mean, it does the same thing. Let’s just say that. It doesn’t look the same maybe but, yeah. Okay. Wait a minute. The $39 one, no, that is something different. The one that is $22 is the same so you got $22.86 is what it was I think and then the other one was $6.97, and it looks like it’s the exact same thing maybe just in different material. So, then is that enough to sell? I don’t know but then I’m looking at the other ones. The numbers are all pretty good. I like the numbers. I like that there’s on the average there’s about three, I think the average it’s telling me it’s 365 amongst them all and they all looked pretty similar. They all looked pretty similar.
Again, there’s not much to differentiate because they’re all pretty much similar but all the price is similar too, $10.99, $14.99, $8.99, $9.99. So, what they tried to do Chris is they tried to take this product and then bundle it with another product which is fine but we don’t want to bundle it with another product that then does something else just so we can say, “Oh, we’ve bundled something.” We don’t want to put a softball glove with a golf club glove or a golfer’s glove. It’s not going to make sense even though you’re thinking to yourself, “I’m going to get traffic from people that are searching golf and people that are searching for a softball.” They don’t really go together.
[00:17:46] Chris: Right.
[00:17:47] Scott: Right? That’s what I’m seeing. I’m seeing that you made a bundle that could serve different parts of the market, but that person wouldn’t buy this other thing necessarily. They could but they might not. So, it seems a little bit not there. I would rather find that one thing and really drill that in. That’s what I’m seeing from only spending about five minutes here on it too by the way.
[00:18:12] Chris: And that’s the thing. And, Scott, the one variation is just the thing so it’s just the softball glove or the vitamin C serum. And the other one is the softball glove and the golfers club. How much are they actually selling a month?
[00:18:28] Scott: On the ones I was just looking at?
[00:18:30] Chris: Uh-huh.
[00:18:31] Scott: Average on a month sales are 365 monthly sales if we take that even the other one for $39. So, if we got rid of that one, let me get rid of that one, we’re at like 364. So, it’d be about 300, 350.
[00:18:48] Chris: For the same products?
[00:18:49] Scott: For the same products and the average price is $10.65.
[00:18:53] Chris: Okay. So, what I’m hearing is that the demand is there.
[00:18:57] Scott: The demand is there.
[00:18:57] Chris: But the price point is not because in this case, we're dealing with $19.90, $20 and what was the other one?
[00:19:04] Scott: Yeah. Well, the only one that’s really high right now is the $22 one. Other than that, they’re all under $12.99.
[00:19:12] Chris: Right. So, in the case of this particular listing that we’re looking at for the hot seat, we’re dealing with around the $20 to $25 price point depending on which one we’re looking at. So, we’re overpriced for the market which isn’t always a bad thing if we have traffic. And so, that would be the question that I would like to pose here. One, how many sales are we actually getting from this listing? It doesn’t look like we’re getting all that many. I just ran Jungle Scout on the one without the extra piece and it looks like two or three a week, if that’s so, like one every three or four days. So, we’re talking around like 8 to 10 a month probably with all the variations. I only looked at the one, but we want 8 to 10 a day to go with kind of to get 10 a day. So, where is the issue? Is the issue demand? That would be the first place that I would look. No.
[00:20:02] Scott: No, demand is not there.
[00:20:03] Chris: Is the issue with demand is there?
[00:20:05] Scott: Yeah.
[00:20:07] Chris: But to know that, we need to know how many sessions we’re getting. We need to know what the conversion rate is. We need to know how much traffic is hitting that listing. Generally speaking, if you can convert at 10% or better, I would say that that is good. Is that a fair assessment, Scott?
[00:20:24] Scott: Yeah.
[00:20:24] Chris: So, to get 10 sales a day at a 10% conversion rate, Scott. I’m going to make you do math, how many visits do we need on a daily basis?
[00:20:32] Scott: Wait a minute. I wasn’t paying attention on that. I’m doing another search here but what was the question again?
[00:20:36] Chris: If we’re converting at 10%, if a train leaves the station in Pittsburgh at 6 AM. No. If we’re converting at 10%, how many sessions a day do we need to get to get 10 sales a day?
[00:20:51] Scott: Oh, we need 100.
[00:20:52] Chris: Right. So, we need about 3,000 sessions a month. And in the hot seat submission, we’re talking about doing split testing and doing all of this kind of stuff. I don’t know if that stuff is relevant unless it’s statistically significant, so we need to have hundreds of sessions a day, thousands of sessions a month before any of that stuff means anything. So, my first course of action before I say liquidate, liquify, do anything else is to look at my sessions, my daily sessions and see how many we’re getting or my monthly sessions. If we’re getting less than 3,000 a month then we need to figure out the math there. So, if we’re trying to get 10 sales a day, we need to get those 100 sessions a day. How many sessions are we getting a day? If we’re only getting 10, well, we’re only going to sell one a day, so we need to turn up PPC, we need to rank for different keywords. We need to figure that out. That would be where I would focus right now because we’re saying that the demand is there for the product.
[00:21:49] Scott: How many units do they still have left?
[00:21:52] Chris: It actually says in the email. I found like a bunch.
[00:21:55] Scott: Okay. Well, here’s my other thing. Here’s my other thought. Okay. Because I’m not saying that it couldn’t work even if you took these and bundle them like you have them. I’m not saying that. I just think you have to call it out more and kind of highlight what one you are really targeting because then that to me that would make it more specific. But my other thing, Chris, is if all you’re doing is launching these three or four products and that’s it and you’re only doing it on Amazon and you’re not doing anything else to do your outreach for – if you’re not building a brand in a sense around this, this will be a tough road in this space. Now, there are some other products and other markets that maybe that won’t be as hard of a road, but I think this market is definitely going to be harder because a lot of people would be coming in and it would get competitive and then from there, you’re going to have to ask yourself, “Why are they going to buy mine versus someone else’s?”
So, I think you have to be always thinking about that. I don’t think you necessarily have to bail on this. Like Chris is saying, we could go ahead, and we can try to drive some traffic and see how it does because here’s the other thing, Chris. Let’s say that I show up for the keyword that I just sent you. I sent you the keyword, the longtail, and let’s say that I did get that search traffic for that one. That still means I got there. I got to figure out now, is the price point that I’m pricing at, is that going to get me sales being on page 1 because I’m so much different than everyone else? Because they can just buy it for $10 and you’re going to sell yours for $22 or $24 even though yours has more. We don’t know that until we would make that happen. So, how aggressive have you been with pay-per-click? How much traffic have you sent to that listing to test this stuff? And I know you said you do some split testing. Split testing is great and all if you have the traffic. If you don’t have the traffic, it’s going to take months before you can get a result.
[00:23:55] Scott: So, to me, you have to have that traffic in order to really test that. The other question would be, is this something that you are building a brand in? And if you are, then you have to start asking yourself, “Okay. How can I create more education around this?” because this is definitely something that could be educating or education-driven.
[00:24:15] Chris: This is a market. I mean, there is a huge market here with products around this and it would be very easy to build that email list in this market and people in this market are very passionate about this market like you can hook somebody, they’re going to be with you for a while with all of the other products that you can launch around this. So, I think it does check, Scott. It checks the demand box. I do honestly think it checks the market box. What it sounds like we have an issue with really is traffic and if we’re spending money on PPC and we’re at breakeven, that’s okay, right? Obviously, if we can ramp that up, that’s better and if we can make that profitable that’s even better but even if we’re at break even we’re not at a loss and it sounds like he’s at breakeven with the sales that we’re getting here. That’s okay in the beginning because we need to get those sales to get our feet established but we need to take a look at a couple of things. We need to take a look at the conversion rate. That would be the first place that I would look.
Look in your reports and your sales reports, look at the unit session percentage or the order session percentage either way and you’ll get an idea of how frequently people hit the listing and are buying. If that’s over 10% then we’re converting okay, but we need to get more eyes on the page before we even know if that number is “real”. If we’re selling six a month, I can tell you right now we’re not getting enough eyes on the page. Bernard brings up a good point. He said if PPC is not enough to get the necessary amount of traffic, that hundred sessions a day, what are the other options? You acknowledge your Facebook ads, your influencers. And in the email, Scott, he said, “I am running Facebook ads. I don’t know the best way to do that. I feel like I’m just wasting money on it. Can you help me out with that?” So, it sounds like we’re saying, “Okay, we’re running Amazon PPC, we’re also trying to run Facebook ads. So, my first question before or my first thing before we even get into Facebook ads, again, coming back to eyes on page, how many impressions are we getting for PPC? If we’re getting a couple of hundred impressions a day, that’s not enough. We need to raise our bid. We need to make sure all of our keywords are relevant.
[00:26:18] Chris: If we’re getting a couple of thousand and people aren’t clicking then we have reviews, the title, photo issue. That’s the first step that I would take. Take a look at your PPC reports, see how many impressions you’re getting, see how many clicks you’re getting and divide that by 60 from your report. And see what are you getting or 30, whatever date range you’re on, on that PPC report so that you can get the average daily and see what that is. And if that’s not enough, if you’re not getting 100 clicks a day because we don’t rank I don’t think for either of those keywords really, we’re not getting hundred clicks a day from that then we don’t even have a significant result there. Now, obviously, you're paying $2 a click. That’s $200 in PPC. We’re not going to ideally drive all that traffic from there but if we can get a couple of thousand impressions a day at 1,500, 2,000 impressions a day, we’re going to be able to tell where the issue is in driving the traffic itself within Amazon before we ever go outside of that. Does that make sense?
[00:27:15] Scott: Yeah. The other question, I’m just again just because we’re kind of flying through this here is what is the main keyword that they’re going for?
[00:27:25] Scott: All right. So, I’m going to cut in here, so we can kind of pause right here. We’ll pick up in the next episode. We’re going to be talking a lot more about how to be found, how to increase your search, keyword strategies, how to find some of the keywords that your competitors are making sales from. Those things are what we’re going to be discussing in the second part of this but again, guys, I want you to just really think about where you are in your business right now. Does this make sense to you as far as you kind of look and see where you are, where you can make improvements or maybe where you’ve made a few mistakes and now you just need to learn from those and then just adjust along the way. And that’s why I like doing these because to me there’s really no wrong way because you just don’t know until you start. You have to get started and then you have to see what happens and then you need to adjust. You need to pivot.
And then, yes, there are times when you’re going to be like, “You know what, I’m not going to move forward in this because, number one, it’s not a passion of mine. The products that I picked are just oversaturated and I made a mistake there. So, just liquidate it or liquify as our student was saying and just move on. I mean, sometimes you have to make those decisions and, in any business, right? If something isn’t working or if something seems like it was working and now it’s not, we have to see if it makes sense to continue on that. There’s a lot of times even in our new brand that we’re looking at products that we’ve launched that might not be pulling their weight anymore and we’ll just have to cut them off and then just continually roll out new products. And you’re also listening I believe you’re listening hopefully and you’re hearing us talk a lot about like is this going to be a brand? Is this going to be something that you could put some content behind? Is this something you could build that email list in? Is this something that you have expertise in? If all of those things are there then it makes your decision a little bit easier then, yes, let’s stick with it.
[00:29:25] Scott: Let’s just go and find another angle in another product or maybe angle it differently to our market. So, there’s a lot of different things there, asking yourself at that point in time, is this something that I want to build a brand in or is this just a product that I want to try to sell? Just you need to ask yourself those tough questions sometimes. And you know what, business is all about being able to adjust, being able to make those decisions to pivot when you need to and just go with the flow like you have to. Like things are going to change. Stuff is going to happen. That’s in any business. Brick-and-mortar doesn’t matter. So, just wanted to kind of throw that back out there to you.
All right, guys. So, make sure you come back listen to 483 on the next episode. That’s where we’ll pick up this conversation, this live hot seat. We're also going to be talking a lot about how to get more exposure, how to increase your traffic whether that's using longtail keywords also looking at your competitors and seeing what keywords that is driving most of their sales and there are ways we can do that and I'm going to share that with you or we’re going to share that with you in part two of this live hot seat.
So, I’m just going to remind you, guys, again if you want the show notes to this episode, head over to TheAmazingSeller.com/482. That’s where all of your show notes, your transcripts, links, all of that stuff will be there and then also if you wanted more information about our Private Label Classroom, head over to PrivateLabelClassroom.com and you can learn all about that in our monthly community over there, in our TAS Breakthrough U where we do these monthly calls and we do a lot of other cool things as well. So, guys, check it out and, yeah, let’s just get out there and make things happen and just keep learning through the process. I can’t stress that enough.
All right, guys. So, that’s it. That’s going to wrap it up. Remember as always, I’m here for you, I believe in you and I’m rooting for you, but you have to, you have to, come on, say it with me, say it loud, say it proud, take action! Have an awesome, amazing day and I’ll see you right back here on the next episode.
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