I'm excited to share with you the insights from our recent episode featuring a special guest, Will Hare. Will is the co-founder of Bella, a full-service marketing agency for Amazon sellers, and he has a wealth of experience working with ecommerce brands, including household names like Instapot and Pyrex.
In this episode, Kristin Ostrander invites Will Hare, co-founder of Bella, a marketing agency for Amazon sellers. They discuss the evolution of Amazon as a platform for brands, the importance of pricing and profitability, and how to handle negative reviews. Will also shares his insights on managing customer experiences and the role of brands in winning customer trust. The conversation also touches on increasing Amazon fees and strategies to mitigate these costs. Will introduces his company, Bella, and invites listeners to connect with him on LinkedIn for updates on Amazon policy changes.
A Special Offer for Our Listeners
Before we delve into the meat of our discussion, I want to remind you about our ongoing Thanksgiving sale. We're offering the Wholesale Bundle System along with seven bonuses worth over $1000. These bonuses include courses like Bundle Ideas Revealed, which provides four hours of bundle opportunities and ideas, and the 40 Day Bundle Challenge, which helps sellers launch a bundle within 40 days. This is a special offer you won't want to miss!
A Shared Love for Football
As we kicked off our conversation, Will and I discovered a shared interest in football. Will is a New York Jets fan, while I'm a Kansas City Chiefs fan. We had a light-hearted discussion about the ups and downs of being a fan and the current success of the Chiefs.
The Evolution of Amazon as a Platform for Brands
Our conversation quickly moved to the main topic: Amazon as a platform for brands. Will shared his journey from retail arbitrage during college to working for marketing agencies. He explained that while the fundamentals of Amazon's PPC system have remained the same, the focus has shifted towards building audiences and reaching customers at different stages of their journey. This includes managing the customer experience through email marketing, Amazon posts, social media platforms like Amazon Live, and even programmatically through DSP.
The Rise of "Amazon Only Brands"
I added that Amazon has opened up more opportunities for brands to directly reach their customers. In the past, brands were not allowed to contact customers, but now they can gather and keep their own customers on Amazon's platform. This has led to the rise of "Amazon only brands," where sellers can reach a large customer base without the need for other platforms.
Pricing, Profitability, and Showcasing Brand Quality
We also discussed the importance of pricing and profitability for brands on Amazon. Will advised pricing products appropriately and justifying the price with high-quality content and advertising strategies. He gave an example of a premium mattress brand that priced their product higher than competitors but justified it with top-notch listings, including images, videos, and A+ content.
I emphasized the importance of showcasing brand quality on Amazon, as customers cannot physically touch or feel the products. I mentioned the growing trend of unboxing videos and influencer marketing, which can help showcase the quality of the product.
Trust and Customer Experience on Amazon
Trust and customer experience are crucial on the Amazon marketplace. We highlighted how speed, convenience, and the trust factor of Amazon itself attract customers. We also mentioned the ease of secure payments and the generous refund policy as factors that contribute to customer trust.
Will emphasized the role of brands in vying for customer attention and trust on the platform. He mentioned that positive reviews and customer experiences can lead to customers sharing photos, videos, and positive feedback, which in turn can drive more sales and opportunities.
Handling Negative Reviews
The conversation then shifted to negative reviews and how to handle them. Will acknowledged that it is difficult to get negative reviews removed on Amazon. He advised brands to be proactive in managing customer expectations through accurate listings, informative packaging, and prompt solutions-driven responses to buyer messages. He also emphasized the importance of providing a good customer experience and happy customers who can share their positive experiences with others.
I shared my personal experience with a brand called Sonos and how their exceptional packaging and customer experience made me a loyal customer. I emphasized the impact of positive experiences on customer loyalty and word-of-mouth marketing.
Strategies to Mitigate Increasing Fees on Amazon
In the final part of our conversation, we discussed the issue of increasing fees on Amazon. Will suggested considering all-in costs, including fulfillment center fees, when pricing products. He also advised brands to ensure accurate tracking of costs and recommended using software solutions like Catena to help with this. He explained that Catena is a performance-based software that only gets paid when the seller gets paid. Although they take a 25% cut, their system is efficient and can help with building in the bill of lading and opening cases for reimbursements.
Will briefly introduced his company, Bella, which specializes in marketplace management on platforms like Amazon, Walmart, and Target. They help brands scale by implementing marketing and advertising strategies. Will invited listeners to connect with him on LinkedIn, where he regularly posts updates and newsletters about policy changes and their implications for sellers.
I appreciate Will's insights and encourage you to check out the links provided to get in touch with him and his company. There is a lot to learn from Will's LinkedIn posts, as he shares valuable information about Amazon and its ever-changing landscape.
As we wrapped up our conversation, we couldn't resist a final nod to our shared love for football. I mentioned the New York Jets and their struggles, jokingly referencing Gary Vaynerchuk's goal of buying the team and turning it around. Here's to hoping for the best for any team, whether on the football field or in the Amazon marketplace!
“So many more opportunities are available now for people to release a brand or launch a brand on Amazon and not have to be everywhere with all the things all the time because they're allowing us to start, they're starting to allow us to gather and keep our own customers and sell things to them maybe indirectly still because we're using Amazon's platform.” - Kristin Ostrander
The Thanksgiving Sale (00:00:02)
Promotion of the Thanksgiving sale and the offer of the Wholesale Bundle System with bonuses worth over $1000.
The 40 Day Bundle Challenge (00:01:16)
Details about the 40 Day Bundle Challenge, including the checklist and daily homework to launch a bundle within 40 days.
Introduction of Will Hare (00:02:44)
Kristin welcomes Will Hare as a guest on the show and expresses excitement about his presence.
The Evolution of Amazon Advertising (00:08:14)
Will discusses how Amazon advertising has evolved over time, from a basic PPC system to a full-funnel experience, including audience building, customer experience management, email marketing, and social media platforms.
Opportunities for Amazon Only Brands (00:10:07)
Kristin talks about the opportunities for brands that sell exclusively on Amazon, without the need for a Shopify store or other platforms, due to the ability to reach a large customer base on Amazon alone.
Pricing and Quality Strategies for Brands on Amazon (00:12:17)
Kristin & Will discuss the importance of pricing and quality in the e-commerce platform, and how brands can justify higher prices through killer content, advertising, and marketing strategies. They also mention the significance of unboxing videos and customer reviews in showcasing the quality of products.
The trust factor of Amazon (00:17:20)
Discusses the speed, convenience, and trust that customers have in Amazon, including the refund/return policy.
The importance of customer experience (00:18:06)
Emphasizes the role of providing a great product and customer experience in generating positive reviews and customer loyalty.
Dealing with negative reviews (00:19:07)
Provides tips on being proactive in managing negative reviews, including accurate listings, prompt and solutions-driven responses to buyer messages, and sharing information to educate customers.
Software solutions for tracking costs and getting reimbursements for damaged products. (00:25:52)
Will Hare discusses the use of performance-based software like Catena to track costs, ensure accurate dimensions and weights, and get reimbursements for damaged products.
Introduction to Bella, a marketplace management company focused on Amazon, Walmart, and Target. (00:26:53)
Will Hare gives an overview of Bella, their services in implementing marketing and advertising strategies, and how they help brands scale on Amazon, Walmart, and Target.
Gary Vee's goal to buy and turn around the New York Jets. (00:28:31)
Kristen and Will discuss Gary Vee's goal of buying and owning the New York Jets to turn the franchise around, and the possibility of implementing strategies to make them winners.
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