All posts by Guest Author

My Top Five Tactics for Rapid Product Testing on the Amazon Marketplace

Product selection isn’t about hitting the bullseye first time. It’s about experimentation, data and trying again. Danny McMillan explains his approach.

This post is by Danny McMillan. Danny is an international public speaker, private label seller and host of Seller Sessions the weekly advanced marketing show for Amazon sellers. Danny has been a guest speaker at The Smart China Sourcing Summit in Hong Kong, The European Private Label Summit, The Private Label World Summit and Private Label Days to name a few.

Imagine the situation: you’ve decided to sell a new private label product on Amazon. You find a supplier, agree the details, and place an order with them. You receive the units, create a great listing on Amazon, get some Sponsored Product Ads running… and then the problems start.

Your product just isn’t selling. Maybe your average cost per click is three times what you expected. Maybe your product turns out to be inferior to your competitor’s version. Or maybe there is simply no market for it and the units won’t move whatever you do.

These kind of problems are common, but can often be avoided. If you test the product and the market before committing to a big order, you can discover and fix a lot of problems, and change your approach before taking on stock. This is an organic method, based on testing a number of different factors in your chosen product category. Your results may differ if you are planning on a large scale launch with hundreds of giveaways.

There is a misconception that product testing is costly and time consuming. That doesn’t have to be the case, as you will see in this post. I’ll show you some of my favorite product testing hacks, which will help you generate rich and accurate market data, create better products more quickly, and carry out sample tests to save you a lot of money further down the line.

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Will Micromanagement be Amazon’s Eventual Downfall?

Jeff Bezos needs to stop calling all the shots, if Amazon is to remain the “king of online retailers” and continue to grow

This post is by Kenneth Eade, a political novelist and attorney, who practices ecommerce law at Amazon Sellers Attorney.

Leadership coach Miles Anthony once said: “Micromanagement is the destroyer of momentum”. Whether this will be the eventual fate of Amazon.com is a question that is being asked by frustrated sellers who deal with the bureaucracy created by CEO Jeff Bezos, who has a penchant to micromanage everything that goes on at the giant retailer.

Before breaking off a niche law practice to help Amazon sellers cope with the wave of seller account suspensions in recent years, as an Amazon seller and self-published author, I was no stranger to the fact that it is almost impossible to find anyone in authority at Amazon who seems to be able to make a decision besides Bezos himself.

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The Truth About Backend Keyword Search Indexing on Amazon

Is there really a hard limit on Amazon listing “backend” search terms? Anthony Lee has the definitive answer on limits and a lot more.

This post is by Anthony Lee, COO of SixLeaf (formerly ZonBlast), the first and largest product launch and ranking service for Amazon sellers.

If you sell on Amazon, particularly if you sell your own brands, you’ve undoubtedly been affected by the most recent change in the indexing of your listings’ search terms (commonly referred to as “hidden” or “backend” keywords).

Backend keywords are set in Seller Central, and don’t show visibly to buyers. In theory, they should lead to your product appearing in search results, just like the other words in your listing, such as those in the title and description (much more on that later).

However, there has been recent debate about how these terms are included in Amazon’s search index. How many are actually used when deciding whether your product is relevant to a customer’s search?

Anecdotes are rampant across forums and seller groups, telling tales of woe about decreasing listing views.The general consensus is that the number of search term characters that are indexed has decreased dramatically.

But there has been no official update from Amazon, or statements to explain how sellers should now optimize their keywords. Instead, there’s just a lot of the same ambiguous and inaccurate advice. To make matters worse, in typical Seller Central fashion, Amazon’s own support staff are giving out old information, or apparently just making it up as they go.

For this post, we’ve researched how Amazon really indexes backend keywords. I’ll put the record straight on a number of points, so you can make the best use of search keywords in your own listings.

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How to Buy and Sell Websites Like a Professional Flipper

Finding, fixing and “flipping” web-based businesses can be a profitable strategy, says Victoria Duff. Here’s how the professionals do it.

This post is by Victoria Duff, a web business mergers and acquisitions broker with Latona’s LLC. Victoria works with both institutional and individual buyers and sellers of established and profitable online businesses, including ecommerce, SaaS providers and blogs.

My job, brokering web-businesses at Latona’s, means I work with a lot of website flippers. I sell them small web businesses and I broker the sale of their completed projects – hopefully, large and profitable ones.

I see a fairly even split between the number of professional flippers looking for their next projects and the inexperienced wannabes who have been lured by tales of huge profits. The number of wannabe website flippers grows yearly. Most have no practical experience in flipping of any kind and need some detailed advice – which is why I am writing this article.

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5 Tips to Optimize your Cross-Border Sales

OFX’s Hamish Muress offers top tips to help fuel your international sales and bring more of your cash home

This post is by Hamish Muress, Senior Business Development Manager at OFX, a global payments company that offers specialized support and service for online sellers.

Cross-border ecommerce has been building momentum for several years now and shows no signs of slowing down. Without the traditional bricks-and-mortar hurdles of going global, more countries than ever are leveraging the ecommerce trend, while consumer trust in buying international goods strengthens.

Estimates by BI Intelligence state that global cross-border ecommerce will generate in excess of $1 trillion in sales for retailers by 2021. Ecommerce businesses, particularly marketplace sellers, are increasingly offering their products globally.

Cross-border trade comes with its own challenges though, from understanding overseas markets to currency conversion. These expert tips should help you overcome barriers and give a solid foundation for cracking overseas markets as an online seller.

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