Ex-Amazon Executive Shares Secrets of Seller Success on Amazon – Brad Moss of Product Labs
Sponsors & Partners
Brad Moss of Product Labs: Is there a secret recipe for generating more sales on Amazon? The answer is Yes. Ex-Amazon executive Brad Moss shares insider secrets as well as a tested framework of different variables and tweaks that can help sellers not only get more page views, conversions, and generate higher revenues, but also reduce costs and become more profitable. Watch/listen and learn.
Resources Mentioned in the Episode
- Amazon Seller
- Jeff Bezos
- Whiskers Laces
- Willow and Everett
- Floatation IQ
- Amazon FBA
- Jungle Scout
- Helium 10
- LED lights
- Elon Musk
- Google suite
- Thomas Huxley
What You’ll Learn
Interview with Brad Moss of Product Labs
- Could you please share a little bit about your background and what motivated you to start Product Labs and what services do you provide at Product Labs?
2. Even before making the decision to sell on Amazon, how does one go about understanding the demand and competitive landscape of a product on Amazon to understand if it is even worth spending time and money?
3. Is it always a better idea to sell on Amazon as a brand rather than under some generic name?
4. How do you differentiate your brand in organic search results because I would assume that for something as generic as shoe laces, the customers who would buy a premium product would need a different messaging than someone who is just looking for replacement shoe laces and is not too worried about a premium product?
5. Factors to maximize organic page views
AMAZON SEO : Does Amazon provide any search data so vendors can analyze keywords etc.?
- Listing Title
- Content Keywords
- Listing Backend
GOOGLE SEO: Factors to maximize conversions
- Customer Feedback – negative reviews
7. Price Optimization – how to test the price that leads to highest revenues?How does implement a dynamic pricing strategy on Amazon? (Willow and Everett)
8. How did you help FloatationIQ with their product redesign? What advise do you have for large volume and/or heavy products?
9. What are your thoughts on FBA? Is FBA more expensive than using other 3PLservices?
10. What is the difference between Amazon Sponsored Ads and Amazon’s Demand Side Platform? How can a brand or business leverage this to grow revenues?
11. What best practices do you suggest for a brand or product launch on Amazon?
12. What does your team/business operation look like?
13. Do you recommend any Amazon tools or data services for marketing or competitive intelligence? Or just any Amazon focused tools that you recommend?
In this segment, the guest will answer a few questions quickly in one or two sentences.
Chelsea Frank of Life and Limb Gel
- One book that you would recommend to entrepreneurs/business professionals in 2020 and why? (Response: Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.)
- An innovative product or idea in the current ecommerce, retail, or tech landscape that you feel excited about.(Response: LED lights.)
- A peer entrepreneur or business-person whom you look up to or someone who inspires you (Response: Mike Mcnally.)
- A business or productivity tool or software that you would recommend. Response: Google Suite and Zoho.)
- Best business advice you ever received or you would give.(Response: Thomas Huxley. learn something about everything and everything about something.)
Sushant Misra: Hey there entrepreneurs. My name is Sushant and welcome to Trep Talks. This is the show where I interview successful ecommerce entrepreneurs, business executives and thought leaders and ask them questions about their business story and also dive deep into some of the strategies and tactics that they have used to start and grow their businesses. And today I’m really excited to welcome Brad moss to the show. Brad is the CEO of product labs. Product Labs is a full service Amazon strategy consulting and management firm. Some of the services they provide include brand and product management, marketing, inventory and logistics management, business intelligence, sales, channel expansion, customer service and more. Brad also spent over two years at Amazon as a business leader, where he was the former head of Amazon seller, Central and Seller Central app. And today I want to ask Brad a few questions about his startup story and some of the ways product labs helps Amazon businesses grow and succeed. So thank you so much for joining us today. Trep Talks bread.
Brad Moss of Product Labs: Yeah, thanks for having me. Sure.
Sushant Misra: Perfect. So let’s get right into it. I know that you have a background from Amazon. I’m very interested in learning a little bit more about, you know, what would your work at Amazon and how did you What motivated you to start product labs?
Brad Moss of Product Labs: Yeah, so no, I actually got hired into Amazon. I’ve been an entrepreneur for several years before I went back and got my master’s in business and Coming out of that Master’s, Amazon contacted me and asked me to apply. And I applied and went through the interview process and got the job. And it was a great experience. You know, I actually, I spent a lot of years in video games and gaming, both both mobile tablet console games, kind of all of them. And so when I went into Amazon, the thought was, hey, let’s, let’s, let’s see if we can do a gamification platform for for sellers. I don’t know if you’re familiar with what that was. But it’s kind of a platform that helps sellers know what the goal should be to grow their, their business and it gives them rewards and achievements and things like that. And so we actually built this really cool platform. That’s very first thing I built inside of Amazon. And the day before we launched, I got my engineer pulled from me. And some kind of middle management stuff above me and I had no control over it, but it was awesome. Like the whole platform, still to this day would have been amazing to have on there. But from there I because I got to know Seller Central and the systems is so extremely well, going through that process and building that that gamification system, I then move to the role of being the business leader overall of Seller Central platform. So, what that means is there’s over 256 different systems inside Seller Central that were operating at that time, and I had to basically start herding cats, you know, as everyone was, had their own objectives, priorities, it was Hey, let’s how do we streamline some of these things? How do we help sellers understand their businesses a little bit easier and better. And as you can see, to this day, not a ton was done. We did some work and a lot of backend stuff. We did some improvements. But again, like the full UI still, in my opinion needs to be reworked.
Sushant Misra: But they
Brad Moss of Product Labs: They didn’t really backfill my job when I moved from Seller Central Seller Central to there’s a new business, you know, it’s always about new business at Amazon and it was the mobile app. So it’s so central on the mobile device. And that’s, I built the business case. And and, and with that, I got it passed through the VPS s VPS. And got the funding to go build mobile, social on mobile devices. And that was a so if you have the Amazon seller app, that was my baby. And with that, I felt like okay, I’ve done a lot of various things in Amazon for like, I done my damage there. And it was a time to move on for me in my life. So I moved on and I didn’t immediately think of going into the seller world. Even though I had so much experience working with so many sellers at that point. As soon as I left though, so many people A lot of people, just acquaintances or friends or whatever people seen that I’d worked at Amazon where I was, they reached out, they’re like, Hey, I’m launching this new business, hey, I’m doing this on Amazon, I need help. And I realized there’s a huge gap in Amazon providing business intelligence to sellers, and it’s still there to this day. So what I did is, is I said, Hey, I think there’s a, you know, as an entrepreneur, you always look for opportunity that comes and tries to find you also. And so I built a I contacted for a business partner or a former colleague of mine at Amazon, who was another business lead, he ran a quarter of a billion dollar business there, also, and, and he, you know, we always talk about entrepreneurship stuff. And so we started product labs, essentially. And we built a technology platform underneath everything that provides very actionable and valuable business intelligence information for sellers. And it wasn’t just the business intelligence, it was the automation, and it was the Providing actionable data. So things that we want to strive to take action on, and understanding when to take action what what to do with listings and and how to adjust them. And when sales are down, why are they down, we can go down to the very minute details of exactly what’s going on. So we built a software and a bunch of processes all over this on top of this. And then we built a consulting and kind of services arm that does consulting work and technology work and services for for brands, both very big and public companies down to very small companies, startups. Typically, if someone’s serious, I mean serious about starting a brand and launching a brand. No, they’d be a good fit for what we’re doing. And yeah,
Sushant Misra: so definitely I want to talk more about your technology platform and things like that. But one thing that I’m really curious about is did you ever work with Jeff Bezos Of course he’s the richest man.
Brad Moss of Product Labs: Yeah, yeah. So it’s so interesting. And Amazon Marketplace. We made so much money and marketplace still makes so much money for Amazon. And basically it’s supplements whatever’s going on out going on on the retail side. Now retail was kind of like hey, this is our show horse. This is the this is the main thing that they always focused on. That’s where they started from traditionally, and they have control over price on the retail side. And a lot of other various things. But the marketplace side so this marketplace for third party sellers were third party so you can go and list of products and and how they have control that price point. They’re doing all sorts of stuff. We slowly grew and then surpassed everything that was going on at retail. And Bezos was so busy with the fire phone at the time. And some of his other pieces. If he paid attention to this whole piece of the business it was always the retail side. Very rarely pay attention to the seller side. I think Partially because he had a really strong business leader in there. Peter fair sees a really strong business leader who is running the, the seller central side of things. And so I worked with Peter, very closely, and on, you know, we’d have weekly meetings or bi weekly meetings about all sorts of stuff going on. So I didn’t ever need to go, there was never really a need because our business was so healthy and so profitable. It wasn’t like Jeff needed to work on this business, right? We were, we’re, we’re kind of the bread and butter of Amazon. People talk about AWS. In reality, that third party marketplace makes most money for Amazon in terms of profit of any business it has, but when they do the reporting, they report out third party business marketplace with the vendor side so it’s all blended together and so doesn’t look as profitable. Because the last this vendor and FBA merged with the marketplace side of things.
Sushant Misra: So maybe, maybe I can ask one more question about just this about Amazon because as you were talking about Peter and leadership and things like that, Yeah, I just became really curious, you know, Amazon, like, one of the, you know, biggest companies in the world now. I think maybe the biggest What? You know, when you say Peter is very strong leader like, what what did you notice at Amazon? Was it like the personal attributes of a leader like Peter like, what was he doing differently? Or was it like the whole culture that was that was driving people to be really good. What were your impressions about the whole leadership and culture part of it? Yeah.
Brad Moss of Product Labs: So that’s, that’s a huge, yeah, huge topic. And it’s wonderful. The, it’s almost like the HR side of things. You know, people say, hey, once your business gets to a certain size, all you deal with is people. And you’re not even dealing with problems anymore. You’re just dealing with people, and people tackle the problems. I think Bezos one of his geniuses is how well he can streamline any process. And cut through all the crap and figure out exactly what’s going on. That’s one of the Jesus geniuses of Bezos, and I think it’s permeate. And I said this years ago, I think he’s gonna have more influence on business than any of the other leaders at the time. Because it was, it was his method and his way of thinking about how to, it’s not just like, Hey, here’s a report. It’s it’s breaking down and streamlining of reports. So as you know, you might have heard, you know, there’s no PowerPoints at Amazon. You can just hide stuff in PowerPoints, and you got sales guys who were just talking, it’s like, if if something is here’s a good example, when writing our business papers, we would always give it the fourth grader test. Right? Could Could I give this to my fourth grader and they understand what I’m saying? If they can’t, then that’s not well written. Right? That was like one of the first times that heard that because going through school and and higher level education and everything. It’s like you got these you’re reading these crazy articles from professors. You got to read one paragraph like four times just understand what it’s even saying. And these professors are so deep into what they’re saying. And they’re putting all the stuff in there. It’s like, no, according to Amazon and Amazon, my thinking that’s terribly written, right? Like, if it’s really well written, a fourth grader could read it and understand what’s going on. And, and I did, and I’ve read these things, from the most complex business situations or technical situations you’ve ever seen. When they’re well written, you can understand that no matter who you are, where you’re coming from. And I think that’s one of the geniuses of Amazon and what basis is instilled into his company. And I think it’s a lot from his influence, as well as some of the principles but he finds people and he’s trained people on the ways to really simplify these very complex business problems into just the core nugget. What does he need to understand? Right? And, you know, there’s a concept of the six pager is no business, no business, paper or anything can be longer. Then six pages that was that was the theory is that any comp any business situation where how complex could be covered in six pages. And I’ve seen that totally true. And that’s like with spacing and formatting, you know, all that kind of stuff. It’s not tiny, but it’s like what well written it really can be. And if you’ve got more stuff to follow up and put it into another six pager, it’s about a different topic, or you add a huge dependencies, it wouldn’t be, it wouldn’t be uncharacteristic to see a six pager followed by 30 pages of dependencies, that’s arguments that are going on inside the six pager, but it just speaks to like, Hey, this is the process of boiling up and simplifying the core data and core information that you need to understand when you’re when you’re making business decisions. And that’s what part of me that’s part of what made Peter so great is he understand he understood how to take very complex tech organization and boil it down to very simple concepts and to be able to tackle problems that way. And it wasn’t just him. I mean, there were some some of the best, most professional people I’ve ever met in the world. A lot of the directors, there’s several directors there that I met that were some of the most brilliant people, both interpersonally. And in dealing with business problems that ever met. Unfortunately, none of them are still at Amazon. I’d worked with there’s I turnover right there. But it’s really hard to work for Amazon. I don’t think they necessarily treat their people internally the best in terms of like, the soft skills. I think that’s where Bezos could use a lot of support and he brought he has it I’m sure he has it a very countering position, where in his mind, it’s a machine and it’s a business and he doesn’t necessarily care about if the processes are good, the people who are running it, you know, he can burn them out. And that’s just kind of the bender process the whole time. Right. So like it wouldn’t be you know, some other thing. Another example is like I built a business that built that was Going was on track to do 300 million within my first year of launching that business. Right? And what did they do? What What was the response from Amazon? It was good job, you did your job, here’s a 2% raise for the year, right? Like your normal standard raise. It wasn’t like, Hey, you just made a ton of money. And we’re gonna give you some, you know, there’s pros and cons for running the business that way. But as an employee, it’s like, well, I’m an entrepreneur, I’ve been taught to be an entrepreneur, and I’m doing crazy things inside this company to make stuff happen, that no one has ever done before. And people have been trying to launch mobile for years before me, and I just did it. And then the response is like, good job. When is it going to be a billion dollars? Right? It’s like, it’s never enough. So it’s unsatiable. So for most people, having that kind of experience is tough on a personal life, and on a personal level. And it’s hard work, right? And I’m not scared of hard work, and I did a lot of hard work, but after a while, it’s like this is not it’s not even beneficial. Hard work, right. It’s just hard work for her sake. I’m not even seeing any upset. For myself, because they’ve built this anyway, this other HR policy, so there’s some Yeah, as you can see, I have mixed feelings. There’s some really great things, but also some things where Amazon really struggles. But at its core, you know, there’s some genius, some genius ways of thinking about analyzing problems.
Sushant Misra: Let’s, let’s move on to product labs. Now. I know that you work with e commerce businesses, I’m very curious to know what what is your ideal ecommerce business that you work with? Is that like, based on size, or, you know, what criteria Do you have when you look for clients to work with? And maybe you can share a little bit about the services that you provide and, and yeah, what is the way that that you charge your clients? Yeah.
Brad Moss of Product Labs: Yeah, that’s a good question. So um, you know, we I come from from the gaming side, I come from a Nintendo fan at heart. grew up with Nintendo and still like that. Sony and Microsoft played all of them. But one of the things that’s so beautiful about those games is that it’s very simple to understand, but then very deep to master, right? It’s simple to understand but takes you forever to actually master it. I bring that up because in the way we interact with our clients is that we like to provide our clients very simplified core key information about their business. So hey, they can come in and take a look at the data and the information and just understand what’s going on in a clear way. So they got to learn our framework a little bit to get that but then once they understand it, then it’s then it’s Oh, they can just pick up a sheet understand what’s going on with your business great. If they have questions, they can then dive in as deep as they want with our team to go after the various different issues of what’s going on with their business. So, you know, in terms of how we operate, we like to provide the most actual most relevant data to our clients at any given point. And so for It’s always simplifying stuff and providing them what they need if they ever want more data we will go deeper and we have it all we have all the depth of it to go in and help them understand and that’s one of the the kind of the things that we really focused on as a company is analyzing Amazon in such a way that we can go deep and we know what’s wrong at any point when sales are up or down like I can pinpoint on any skew why sales are where they are and tell you what what’s going on and what we need to do to change that. So it’s a you know, in terms of working with clients, we like to provide both high level strategy and then down to the tactics if they want to get into the roll up their sleeves and get into the dirty work. Many clients like the high level stuff, and that’s all that they want to sit. That’s that’s all they want. They want to see. So some want to get into the nitty gritty details all the time. In terms of our our, our ideal client well I say our fee structure mainly we talk to that are generally wait We set up a few structures, we have a monthly baseline, based on the skew side or the skew count in the sales volume, those are the two biggest predictors we found in terms of man hours and labor that we work on stuff. And then we typically set a benchmark of wherever their sales are some kind of threshold with them. And then we set a commission on our sales growth. Because so really what we do is we lower What if I was just to do a baseline feed and it would be higher but we lower what that would be. And then we put have this commission piece so that we’re incentivized to grow their business because clients always want to see their businesses grow. That’s one of the the core tenants of of this to be want to see their business grow. So that’s, that’s basically how we do it’s a hybrid structure like a baseline fee plus a commission on on how we grow their business. We do a few variations for businesses with different reasons and sizes, but that’s kind of the standard. Now the ideal client for us. I think the ideal client is someone who wants to be very intelligent about Their business and, and understands what it takes to grow their business and to achieve their goals. Now, that’s very kind of vanilla response. But, but really we serve clients from very large, very small. And we found the best ones are ones who understand what it takes to achieve their goals and understands what we’re doing, and are willing to put in what it takes. So if I tell someone, hey, it’s going to cost you, if you want to grow from 100,000 a month to 500,000 a month, it’s going to cost you an extra hundred thousand in advertising spend based on all this analysis, blah, blah, blah, I’m making a an extreme example here. But it you know, here’s all this data and it’s going to cost you $100,000 to grow there. And the client says, Okay, I get it and understand it. And let’s go for or let’s change our goal from 500,000 to 200,000. What’s that going to cost in terms of advertising or adjustments or whatever, instead of unrealistic expectations of saying I want to grow from 100,000 a month. 500,000 a month and you got you know, $5,000 more a month and ad spend to do that, which is way out of whack in terms of advertising spend ratios that we see on the platform. So, yeah, that’s kind of one of the keys but but really there’s four areas that we found clients that come to us. We got the startups, we love them. We built a lot. One of my favorites is a mom who was selling on Etsy, and we brought her on the platform and she wasn’t able to keep up on inventory for the first two years that she was with us. We kept growing so well, so quickly with her. And then we have the SMB, so small and medium businesses. So these are businesses really chugging along. We help them refine their process or scale from a one person business to with a team. Our team comes in and acts as their team to help them scale it from one person to several people. And then you have enterprise businesses, so can be a large company. Got some public companies that we work with. And the reporting is different on there. And there’s different understandings, but we help them understand actually what’s going on inside of Amazon when most when it’s so difficult and most people don’t have the same type of access for the same type of reporting that we have and how to clearly communicate what’s going on with their business inside of Amazon. And so those are fantastic also. And then the last one is are these investor based businesses so Amazon businesses are selling right? investors come in and they buy it and then they don’t know what what to do or they want it stabilized or they want it secured. And we come in and run and operate the business for them as they take it over from from the person that they’ve sold it to. We’ve done that on large and small scale. We ran all of this. This company through Icos and been in the news we ran majority of their profile their company for the first more than half of their life at the time and help them stabilize their business. Is and you know, they’ve done quite well, as well as many others that we’ve, we’ve helped them support there. So those are the kind of the four big groups investors, enterprise SMBs and startups.
Sushant Misra: So when we talk about it for the startups, you know, a lot of the times when a business is really just an idea or a lot of times when, you know someone is thinking, hey, I want to start this business, you know, is it worth it to start on Amazon and they want they’re they’re trying to feel the market. How does or how would you try to figure out the demand of a certain product and and the competitive market intelligence on Amazon. So I mean, I saw on your website, one case study was of whiskers laces which is laces shoelaces are really like a commodity product. You know, you can find shoe laces all kinds cheap. And but this is a premium product when they say I want to sell on Amazon like, the kind of time and effort that would require to get their business going. How do you determine that? Is it even worth it to spend that kind of time and money to to get that business on Amazon?
Brad Moss of Product Labs: So yeah, that’s all in the business owner that’s on his shoulder. So we always say we’re not in the business of picking winners. We were in the business of supporting those who have who pick their own racehorse and we’re, we’re grooming and maturing and supporting that racehorse to get as far as it will go inside the Amazon ecosystem. Whiskers laces came in, you know, and that’s not to say we don’t have a perspective on where the market is, and, and what’s going on. But that’s not our core business. We’re not going to come in and tell someone, hey, you should launch these five products. You know, there’s a nice gap in the market here. other service providers or other people can do that or do that. But we’re not in that business. We We We really help when someone has a product and they believe in it and they really want to Go heavy were the team to pick it up and run and, and really support it there. So someone like a whiskers laces they were, they had done well off of Amazon first done pretty well and start picking up steam and speed. And there was obviously a gap inside of Amazon from what they had seen and they came to us and looked and you know, our initial view on it was that you know, there was a gap and and they decided to go in and going hard with Amazon and we gave some expectations and then we beat the expectations. And we you know, we supported them and quite well with with their business, but it’s a similar business model, right. I mean, shoe laces are everywhere, socks were everywhere, but then all sudden, Stan’s socks came out and they made the best socks in the world. Whiskers laces make some of the very best laces I’ve ever seen in the world. I love their product. And if you want something to look a little bit different than just the traditional, you know, business Round laces that you get with things or white laces that you give your sneakers, then, you know, they’re perfect. It’s It’s a fantastic product and fantastic business. So I love what they’re doing there they were their ideal scenario set up to do really well on Amazon before we came in.
Sushant Misra: I do think part of that equation is the branding part also. So, you know, if a business that is coming to Amazon, and you have a lot of different competitors, you know, who are selling maybe, you know, on a very cheaper price, and you’re trying to compete with them, the way to differentiate, is it always good to have like a brand that, that you’re trying to differentiate your product, even though it’s a commodity product, you find some angle of differentiating it and just by your branding, there’s a better chance of doing that.
Brad Moss of Product Labs: So I would say your question runs to a very deeper question of what is branding and what is the value of a brand and just kind of on the surface as a response branding is you know, there’s a component of self identity between people and their relationship with products and things they use every day. And a branding is is finding your position in a certain group and demographic of where you belong right in their life and that their personal identity is tied to either your brand or your brand is fits well with them and their lifestyle. And so there’s always a stronger emotional connection with purchasing aside from just numerical purchasing of, Oh, this is cheaper, I’m gonna buy it cheaper, particularly in America and in Europe, actually, everywhere. The branding, has that emotional can have that emotional connection where I can buy Apple, right? It really all Apple is are overpriced technology products, right? That’s all it is. But from a very, you know, analytical perspective, they’re just overpriced technology products that work really well. From a branding perspective, it’s it’s like a self image thing for me is myself and a bunch of my friends, no one want my work colleagues, I have an iPhone by not. And, and so there’s like a big emotional tie in. So people are willing to spend a lot more on that brand Apple brand. And that happens across all of brandy. Right? And so when you’re building your product and your niche, you know, depends what you’re doing if you’re building, you know, another spatula, well, why? What’s the emotional connection with your spatula versus all the other thousands batches that been for sale for 100 for 100 plus years, right? And what is the difference? And that’s on the Brad’s on the owner and yes, there’s huge value there. Because if you can build a strong brand, and a strong brand, presence and connection with the people that that’s gonna do really well in terms of lifetime value of your customers, they’re gonna keep coming back, they’re going to spread the word. You’ll be able to sell your company for much more when you get to that point or if you never do that. You have, you know, good customers for life as long as you keep that up. So branding is important even though most people don’t take it that seriously on Amazon, most of Amazon products that are at the top of their category category are just product listings with good reviews. Right? That’s, that’s most of what they don’t have a strong brand, but there’s a huge side of that brand piece if you really dive into it.
Sushant Misra: So basically what you’re saying brand is good, but on Amazon, you don’t necessarily need to have the brand if you know the Amazon algorithm and are able to work with the different levers you can still be the best seller there.
Brad Moss of Product Labs: Yes, short term. That’s where the Amazon ecosystem is now. Yep, I don’t think that’s gonna be there long term. Okay, five years from now it will it will not be there like the way it is though.
Sushant Misra: Now, when you work with your clients, I read that you know, you work with two main levers. One is the revenue Part one is the cost part so reducing the cost increasing the revenue on the road. When you side I think, you know, there’s three big metrics, you have the page view conversion and the average price. So I want to talk a little bit about these different levers and how you know how Amazon works and how you help your clients with these. So on the revenue side, the page view so, you know, let’s say that this company whiskers lace when when they came to you. laces, you know, it’s such a, I’m sure there were a lot of different competitors. How do you say, Okay, how do I get a percentage of the page, you know, people who are searching for this list of shoelaces on Amazon, how do I get, you know, some of that traffic to whiskers laces. So in terms of Amazon SEO, like what are some of the things that you did with whiskers? So that helped them to get the pageviews to get that or the right pageviews to get that revenue? equation up?
Brad Moss of Product Labs: Yeah. So there’s a very insightful question. And thank you for understanding the framework that we have to even not ask that question. So, yes, it’s very simple math conversion rate times traffic equals unit sales, right unit sales times your average price point is your revenue. That’s all it comes down to. And by the way, you know, we’ve explained this a little bit, we’re in the business of building businesses inside of Amazon. And this is how we would analyze with with totally different frameworks, but or different results and what the framework would be, but we would analyze a business and analyze how it functioned. And what are the key drivers and mechanisms and levers that we needed to pull inside of Amazon? And we’d report on those. So we’ve done the same thing when we left Amazon, we did the same thing for the seller business, what are the key drivers and mechanisms that we have control over that we can drive and move things up and down. The very first thing we’d actually look at is your conversion rate and your conversion rate, basically You know how many people are coming in your page and clicking converting the purchase and your conversion rates made up of your images, the text, your price and your reviews? Now,
Sushant Misra: by the way, on the back end of Amazon, you’d you get this metric. How many people are actually coming to your page, the metric here?
Brad Moss of Product Labs: Well, in the business, only on the seller central side, right. So not on the vendor, and you get analytics on, you get some data on the pageviews. And then how many people purchased and so if you have pageviews, and people purchased, you can come up with your conversion rate metric. There’s another metric in there that’s session based and not PHP based, which is really similar. They’re off by a little bit. But regardless, yes, you can get that data inside business reports inside of Amazon. Okay, so
Sushant Misra: go ahead. No, no, go ahead. No, you
Brad Moss of Product Labs: sir. So then what we did? So what we look at us, Hey, how are these images being presented in Amazon, we have our own standard of how we want to make it best images and text and the price point is something very interesting. We’ve sometimes change price up and conversion rate goes up, sometimes we change it down and conversion rate goes up. So that’s some of the price testing that we do when we bring stuff in inside of Amazon. For our clients, we try and test that for them. On the traffic side, there are two types of traffic and that’s what your question is about. There’s both organic traffic and then there’s what we call influenced traffic, which is basically like paid stuff that you go out and you try and find and or you pay for so the Amazon PPC, the sponsored ads are all paid traffic. And you with with just some money, you can get some paid traffic going on your listing. You have to do some research and find what are the keywords that people would be looking for to find your product and and then start spending some money on some ads. And as you do that, you will start showing up you’ll get some traffic on your listing. There’s no there. That’s influence Traffic, then there’s the organic traffic or essentially Amazon SEO.
Sushant Misra: And if I can interrupt you just for a second, so you said, you know, people can find out that the keywords for these keywords would be different these keywords would be specific for Amazon like the Amazon search, right? That’s right. And is that is that data available on Amazon and the back end rolls, or this is like a different way of finding this?
Brad Moss of Product Labs: No, you have to look for it. You have to look for it and analyze it on your on your own to find what that data is. And we’ve done a lot of stuff with Google, right? Like, you can take Google data and and find and use similar data inside of Google and use it inside of Amazon to make it work. Okay. Yeah.
Sushant Misra: So so so you were saying that, you know, yeah, promotions and organic traffic. You were saying that?
Brad Moss of Product Labs: Yeah, getting up, getting some promotions, getting some advertising going and setting up your back end key Words and taking your keywords, putting them in the back end of your listings, will essentially start the traffic running to your to your product, and you’ll start getting a ranking inside of Amazon and then you got to spend time trying to improve what that ranking is or improve the traffic and and other with other measures. Other means,
Sushant Misra: so you recommend that you know if someone is just launching a product without any reviews, it’s like a pure, completely new listing. The best way to go about bringing traffic is to turn on the Amazon paid traffic. Because
Brad Moss of Product Labs: Yeah, that’s one of the ways Yep, paid traffic, doing promotions. You can do off Amazon promotions, getting traffic dumping it into Amazon. There’s a lots of different strategies and methodologies. And there’s very simple reasons to do any one of those. But yeah, that it is it’s a traffic game. And you got to get conversion rates, you got to get traffic to make it all work. So
Sushant Misra: now the organic traffic on Amazon, I think there’s four factors that I That I read there’s the title. There’s the the content keywords, there’s the listing back. And then there’s the categorization. Are they like in terms of weighting of which factor is important in terms of you know, when people search for things on the Amazon search? in your in your opinion, like, what are some of the important things that people should look out or optimized to, to to have the best success?
Brad Moss of Product Labs Yeah, I would say the keywords are probably the the biggest piece, particularly the title, what you have in your content, the keywords that are in your title, and in the body of the email or of the of the SIR of your page, your Detail page. those keywords are some of the most important of all them in terms of stack ranking things. categorization can matter. It can matter quite a bit, but most of the time people get it right unless I’m On moves you, which drives everyone crazy on their move in your voice? So yeah, I would say kind of the the key words getting those right and getting it in the right content is the most important.
Sushant Misra: So, categorization For example, this list company that is selling like selling like premium laces. Instead of putting them in like a regular shoe category, would you much rather because it’s premium laces, let’s say for golf shoes, or, you know, some other kind of shoes. Would you much rather categorize them and under like golf sport, and that would give them better chances of driving the right kind of traffic because even if someone searches for less, and they find their business and they find that the prices are too high, they’re probably not under buying it. So is that part of the idea?
Brad Moss of Product Labs: Oh, yeah, you’re right. You’re right out. So that may not be in that specific example. But yes, that’s a that’s generally What you want to look at is, Hey, is laces too broad, or generally shoe laces too broad when these are mainly for dress shoes. So do we jump into dress shoes, and we do dress shoe laces, or men’s dress shoe laces versus just general laces or sneaker laces, things like that. And putting it in the different categories can can impact your your visibility and where you get inside of Amazon.
Sushant Misra: And the the SEO optimization that you do on Amazon, does that also work for Google? So when you know a lot of times people instead of going directly on Amazon, they would go on Google and they would say, Hey, I’m looking for, you know, men’s red shoes or whatever. And a lot of times, you know, you get the Amazon listing coming up on Google. How does that work?
Brad Moss of Product Labs: Yeah, so that does not work the same. I mean, the SEO are different. Amazon SEO is different than Google SEO. That said if there are keyword triggers inside of Amazon that are that are that are being scraped by Google and used by Google For you to come up that is going to be effective. So the actual keywords that you’re using inside of Amazon, your Amazon listing do affect what your Google SEO is going to be. In terms of like how things rank, Amazon’s totally different than Google. And so you actually have to work on stuff inside of Amazon to come up on the Google side. It’s you got to do other things to try and be relevant for the Google searches, but it’s mainly getting the right keywords in place on that side.
Sushant Misra: Okay. Now, you talked a little bit about the price optimization. And I know, one of the other companies that you’ve worked with Willow and Everett, you help them with their price optimization. And one of the things that I read is that you implemented a dynamic pricing strategy where the prices you know, lowered or increased dynamically. Is that something that you did like on their personal side, or is this a capability that can be done on Amazon also,
Brad Moss of Product Labs: this was on Amazon. We went through And adjusted now you don’t want to, you don’t want to change the pricing too often Amazon can flag you. But there’s a certain time time span where we adjusted some of their pricing up and down based on where the competitors were on their products based on where they were that that drove for higher revenue and higher profit margin there.
Sushant Misra: Okay. And this is something that you can like in terms of dynamic, what I’m understanding that this is like an automatic chain, is that does Amazon have that capability?
Brad Moss of Product Labs: No, No, they don’t. They don’t.
Sushant Misra: Okay, so how did you do that?
Brad Moss of Product Labs: So you there are systems that you can pipe into Amazon to make dynamic changes, if you will?
Sushant Misra: And that is through API’s and stuff.
Brad Moss of Product Labs: That’s right. Yes. Yeah. Okay.
Sushant Misra: One of the other case studies that I found on your website was off this business called floatation IQ. And I think one of the things that you have done was With their product redesign, and I guess, changing the size of their product. And this is very interesting to me for for products that are larger size, large volume, maybe maybe, you know, large weight. How How does is it? Is it really just that you decrease the total volume of the product in that house? Or does it matter? Like how if the length is larger, that’s okay. And but the width is not.
Brad Moss of Product Labs: So there’s two Yeah, in terms of shipping, there’s two pieces there’s dimensional weight. And then there’s actual weight. When they calculate shipping prices and dimensional weight is based on has nothing to do with weight. It’s just what are the dimensions of this product, and they have a scoring and a scoring table when you’re fulfilling and when you’re sending in Product to Ship through shipping. You have this this this table and it’s dimensional weight is whatever you know, might be, I don’t know. 300 inches versus the actual weight may only be like 10 pounds or 20 pounds. And it’s looking at whatever one’s greater. And so if your weight is below a certain threshold, and there’s always thresholds like, hey, this threshold, you’re charged X dollars at this threshold, you charge x, y dollars, and so on. And we do an analysis we look at, okay, where are these products? And where are they being? And is there room for improvement in either a dimensional capacity or a weight capacity to go down a step right and save money on shipping. And in many scenarios, like there’s one scenario we saved $70 per unit, just by adjusting about two inches off of a product. Right and that’s, and that goes directly to your bottom line, right? That’s $70 you would have spent on shipping that you don’t no longer spend any more on shipping just by changing your your dimensional size, to be able to be optimized for the male and sending it through FedEx, UPS USPS or however might be,
Sushant Misra: what are your thoughts on Amazon FBA? And do you think for businesses to choose like FBA versus like a third party ecommerce fulfillment? Do you think in terms of like, just the pricing costing is FBA more efficient in your experience than like just a third party service?
Brad Moss of Product Labs: So I’ve never found anyone to be amazon for two day shipping. I’ve never been on prices that beat Amazon’s prices for two day shipping. That said, sometimes you want to change your product to like a three or four or five day shipping and then you can beat an FBA price through a three Pl. I’ve had, you know, lots of clients come in and be like, Hey, we got this great agreement with ups and we’ve had it for 1020 years. They still don’t beat Amazon terms of their pricing. I’m a huge fan of FBA. What it does now there are scenarios where it does not make sense For Business and, and those are, you know, typically, you got customized stuff, you got hazmat stuff, you have oversized goods, some of those scenarios that are really hard for FDA to solve for make a lot more sense on a three Pl. And then sometimes there can be inventory stagings scenarios where it makes more sense for you to be a three PL in terms of costs, all the costs that come in, but in general FBA is is the best way, by far and you get the prime badge when you’re FBA, and if you have that Prime badge, generally see sales lift around 40%. That was the number internally that we would advocate inside of Amazon to to sellers is a generally there’s a 40% lift when you’re FBA, or when you’re prime versus when you’re not praying,
Sushant Misra: there’s a pretty large difference. What does it What does your team look like right now like your own business Do you interact with people who help your clients? Can you share a little bit? You know, what your team looks like? Are they all remote, everything.
Brad Moss of Product Labs: So we have around 45 people who work for us. And we set us our we set our system up. So we have business managers, and these are kind of like mini CEOs of, of the business, the ones that work directly with the clients. And they’re the ones who know the business the best, they develop the strategy, and they’re the ones who are essentially running an operating everything. Then we have support teams around them that help and run and optimize all the listings and everything that they need done. And then they help and they report into the business managers and their business managers. Basically, they are responsible for everything. So they got to make sure everything’s done and and accomplished, but they’re the ones sending out the tasks to the internal specialist teams. And that’s, yeah,
Sushant Misra: that’s certainly how we work. No previous You had mentioned a little bit about your own technology platform. And I want to I’m interested in learning a little bit about what are some of the other tools available in the market versus, you know, the tools that you’re developing yourself? And, you know, we talked a little bit about, you know, getting access to the API’s. Do you have any recommendation of some of these tools that can help you in terms of getting more data about your business and also competitive intelligence, things like this?
Brad Moss of Product Labs: Yeah. So there’s some tools that just don’t solve. So what we found is our use case is different. Most tools are built for various different vertical slices of what needs to happen in running an operating an Amazon business, little tat tactics, right, which are all very what you need to do. And there’s a lot of tools that solve these various different things. So one of the best that we we really like is managed by stats, that’s a that’s a huge one that we really like and how they report out and how they operate. Then there’s tools like Jungle Scout, if you’re looking for you know, market competitive research, they’ve been the first in the industry to, to even try and estimate what sales are. Then there’s several other tools like helium 10, I knows is a pretty popular one. Every once in a while we, you know, we, they have they have a cool, something that we might use. But yeah, I guess there’s three, there’s three various tools to definitely take a look at.
Sushant Misra: Okay, now we’re going to move on to our rapid fire round where I’m going to ask you a few questions and you have to answer them in one or two words or one or two sentences. So the first one is, do you have any book recommendations for entrepreneurs or business executives in 2020? And why?
Brad Moss of Product Labs: in this space, I actually just recently read a tipping point by Malcolm Gladwell. Yeah, I found it very insightful in this new M. Amazon e commerce space. erasing to be one of the, you know, the next big product inside of Amazon.
Sushant Misra: An innovative product or idea in the current e commerce retail or tech landscape that you’re excited about.
Brad Moss of Product Labs: Whoo. I personally, this is weird. Personally, I love LED lights and the technology around LED lighting in both applications and offices and homes, and there’s some cool technology about connecting those to the web and doing just submitted a lot of stuff there. That’s not big. It’s not going to be huge, but it’s kind of like a little hobby thing. That’s pretty fascinating to me.
Sushant Misra: What isn’t? Isn’t that related to the Internet of Things? like is that was that you were referring to her.
Brad Moss of Product Labs: Just that just LED lighting. It’s like I love how energy efficient it is and that you can do so much with it in various different ways. So you can look it up online API’s and The cloud service and kind of fun stuff that that’s kind of a week one. I mean, it’s it’s more of a hobby one, some of the cooler stuff. I love what Tesla’s doing. And I never cease to be amazed by the stuff that Musk is Ilan Musk is doing. I love him as a leader,
Sushant Misra: a productivity tool or software that you either use or recommend.
Brad Moss of Product Labs: We become huge fans of Google suite because of the interconnectivity between all the products, and then the share ability, that everything can be shared. And there’s a lot of collaboration we all jump into a spreadsheet we all collaborate on it. I really like Google suite lately, actually. them and Zoho. I really like Zoho if you’ve never used it before. It’s a I looked a lot for kind of a platform that’s scalable and expandable and cost effective. And Zoho actually been really impressed by them lately also.
Sushant Misra: Okay. appear on entrepreneur or business person who inspires you?
Brad Moss of Product Labs: Oh, I’m sick. This feels a little weird. I got a buddy. His name’s Mike mcanally. And he’s running a dentistry startup for he inspires me. he’s a he’s a good he’s a good man. Okay, not very, so people probably wouldn’t even know.
Sushant Misra: Okay. And finally best business advice that you ever received or you would give to new entrepreneurs.
Brad Moss of Product Labs: Um, here’s two things. One is life advice. I’ll say, read this quote by Huxley. I think he’s Thomas Huxley. learn something about everything and everything about something. Hmm. I love that quote. In terms of always be broad minded but become an expert at one thing
Sushant Misra: and maintain one for life life advice and was a different one also.
Brad Moss of Product Labs: That’s the life one Being an entrepreneur. One thing I learned this is this will take longer. This isn’t two sentences. But I learned about strategy from teaching chess. When I was in college, I taught chess to kids. And I used to think long time ago used to think chess is all about understanding five moves ahead. 10 moves ahead. Whatever chess isn’t necessarily that at least my understanding of it isn’t that chess is about understanding positioning your pieces and providing the most options, you don’t know what the feature is going to be. But you can position your your pieces to provide you the most defensibility or attacking positions, regardless of what the competitors do, and so in business, you don’t know what the future is going to be, but position yourself to give yourself the most options or the best options when they come about because you don’t know what they’re going to be.
Sushant Misra: Perfect. Thank you so much. For all the for sharing your story for all the business insights. Those were all the questions that I had noise opportunity if you want to share, you know how people can get in touch with you or, you know, get in touch for your products or services, please. Yeah, sure.
Brad Moss of Product Labs: Yeah, definitely jump on to our website product labs.ai and or reach out to us services at product labs.ai. And reach out and love to connect and help out. We’ve helped, you know, again, big, big companies, we’ve helped a lot of private equity firms understand what they’re doing. We’ve helped investment groups, we’ve helped enterprise companies, people inside enterprise companies trying to push Amazon when the top leadership doesn’t necessarily want to yet. We’ve helped startups and helped SMBs really scale to do and so we’d love to just talk or Yeah, help you out in any way that if you want to understand Amazon, hopefully we can up yet. Perfect.
Sushant Misra: Thank you, Brad, for much for your time for sharing your story for sharing all the insights. Really, really appreciate it. And I wish you all the best in your business.
Brad Moss of Product Labs: All right, thank you very much. Thank you.
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