Check Out Our All New Podcast Resource Center!
Sept. 3, 2021

Growing Your Business On Amazon With Will Haire

Growing Your Business On Amazon With Will Haire

This episode features guest Will Haire. Will is the CEO of BellaVix, an Amazon Management Company which helps retail brands scale their business on Amazon.

Discover why it is advised that all companies control their own brand by selling their products on Amazon. Listen as Will explains how Amazon determines which retailer is awarded the buy box and why it is so important to the success of your Amazon listings that you understand.

Finally, the important elements of increasing your conversions with your Amazon listings and the types of products that Will has found to be the most successful when selling on Amazon.

Episode Action Items:

You can find more information regarding Will Haire or his agency, Bellavix at www.BellaVix.com.

ABOUT THE HOST:

Andy Splichal - Make Each Click Count PodcastAndy Splichal is the World's Foremost Expert on Ecommerce Growth Strategies. He is the acclaimed author of the Make Each Click Count Book Series, the Founder & Managing Partner of True Online Presence and the Founder of Make Each Click Count University. Andy was named to The Best of Los Angeles Award's Most Fascinating 100 List in both 2020 and 2021.

New episodes of the Make Each Click Count Podcast, are released each Friday and can be found on Apple Podcast, iHeart Radio, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts and www.makeeachclickcount.com.

Transcript

Andy Splichal  0:02  

Welcome to the Make Each Click Count Podcast. This is your host, Andy Splichal. We're happy to welcome this week's guest to discuss today's topic, which is growing your business on amazon. Here today representing BellaVix, an Amazon management company which helps retail brands scale their business on Amazon is Will Haire. Hi Will.

 

Will Haire  1:09  

Hey, Andy, I'm excited to be here and share some really useful information for all your listeners.

 

Andy Splichal  1:15  

Great, well, we can't can't wait to hear what you got. But before we before we start, let's just get right into it. So what are the reasons for a company to put in all that effort to sell their products on Amazon instead of concentrating on selling their products through their own website, their own platform?

 

Will Haire  1:33  

Beautiful, great question. And eventually, I think this goes into the misconception that Amazon actually takes sales away from your website and the reality they work together. The modern consumer is an Omnichannel consumer. And believe it or not, whether you're whether you are on Amazon or not, your customers are going to Amazon, they're checking your product reviews, whether you sell them where you don't. And they're also checking your competitor reviews to get some feedback. 66% of searches start on Amazon. And Amazon has the, you know the 200 pound 200,000 pound gorilla that's in the room. And it's hard to avoid. And you know, what I will say to kind of add on to that is also if you're not protecting your real estate, if you're not concerned with your brand on Amazon, you shouldn't be I bet if you go and you search your products and you find other sellers, you'll find that the listing quality is poor, the user experience is usually pretty poor. So your customers, the brand equity you spent so hard to build your website, your social media, around will suffer inside these different marketplaces, if you're not owning that brand experience and making sure that your customers have a similar experience, because they don't understand that you're not the reseller, that you're not representing the brand on Amazon, they go to Amazon, they click that Add to Cart button, and they make a purchase. And what we see over and over again, is counterfeit products, especially in the beauty space. And these are all you know, these are all reasons why it's important that if you're a brand, and you're worried about your brand experience, and you're building audiences, and you're trying to build your ecommerce brand, that you do consider Amazon as part of that, because the marketplace experience is part of the Omnichannel shopping experience.

 

Andy Splichal  3:17  

That's a great point. You made some great points. So you convinced us we decided to put our we decided to put our products on Amazon. And what fees can we expect to rack up with Amazon when When listing our products?

 

Will Haire  3:29  

Great question. So the fees are pretty basic. Roughly, these are going to fluctuate. So you'd actually have to search for give or take, you can assume that 30% of fees for FBA Fulfilled by Amazon or prime products. If you're going to fulfill yourself or use a third party logistics company, it's about 15% 15% for pick and pack, which is the FBA the prime and the other 50% is Amazon's referral fee, they get their blood and in every purchase that's made on the platform, that's how come Jeff can send people to outer space and worry a lot less about logistics. But those are, those are kind of the main main reasons or main contributors.

 

Andy Splichal  4:14  

So 30% If you're having your products fulfilled by Amazon, and then use Lean to advertise on top of that, right?

 

Will Haire  4:22  

Yes, yep. Okay, exactly. And, you know, to be clear, you should have good margins, you know, so what products don't work? Well. I mean, if you have a under a $15 price point, generally those margins are going to be tough. Amazon has programs like the small and light program where the fees are reduced, but it might not make sense. So when you're considering the types of products, just because you're below a $15 price point, doesn't mean Amazon's not right for you. It just means that the catalog and the approach needs to be different. And this is where we could talk about virtual bundles. This is where we talk about actually bundling or figuring out you know how we can piece your products together to get to a price point where we could penetrate the market, that we could have something valuable that your customers are going to want to purchase. And then also, you know, have a decent margin where you can afford the 30% fee that Amazon is going to take for your your FBA, your pick and pack, and the referral fee, as well as advertising. And, you know, we could talk about advertising and definitely go into depth. But you know, launching a product on Amazon versus and going through that whole maturity cycle is all kind of part of that marketplace experience. And, you know, if you're going into Amazon, and you're brand new, and expecting to make money, the first 90 days is very unlikely, unless you have a killer product with a lot of brand equity, or you have a really nice niche, that there's not a lot of competition. But outside of that, Amazon to get started off as an investment. But the investment pays off because it is the largest, most trusted retail online retail channel. In the United States. I think it's you know, give or take, it's about 50% of all e commerce sales happen on the platform. So if you're not on the platform, you're missing out, it's a great place to build your brand equity. And there are different features, depending on if you're brand registered or not that you could take advantage of.

 

Andy Splichal  6:22  

Okay, well, let's talk about how Amazon works, and particularly the buyout at the buy box. So when multiple sellers are our selling, as I understand that there's the buy box, yeah, can you let us know how Amazon determines who gets the buy box? And it exactly what it is that I described that correctly?

 

Will Haire  6:43  

You did, sir. Yep, it's the Add to Cart button that shows up to the right of the product listing and the bullets. And that I mean, having the buy box means you're gonna get almost 100% of sales that come to that page. Which is, which is what you want. So there's, there's a couple of things. So how is it? How is it figured out the account maturity, your  seller rating, your price point on the particular item, the amount of inventory you have on the item. And if you're brand registered, so those are, you know, the five major components, that's what's going to dictate your buy box ownership. In most cases, movies, the brands we work with being retail distributed brands, buy box and third party sellers is a problem. It's something that we specialize in dealing with. And it's definitely a pain point. So you know, if we're talking about if you're a brand owner, you need to have a MAP policy in place, you need to be enforcing that MAP policy. And you need to make sure that you have inside your contracts with your wholesalers stipulations for selling on marketplaces, and by all means this shouldn't be limited to just Amazon. This should be your Amazon, your Walmart, your targets, anywhere that you're distributing, and you have wholesalers working together. And this will give you the ability to kind of control the buy box a lot more if you are doing a wholesale model. And then there's lots of tactics to go off of that, you know, we work with brands that will take three quarters of their catalogue, and they'll give it to wholesalers. And we do advertising tactics to drive traffic, and it adds a lot of value. And then we'll also have Amazon exclusive ASINs. So and why I'm diving into this Buy Box is everything. I mean, if you want to have an impact, if you want to make money on Amazon, you got to own that Buy Box, otherwise, you won't be getting a lot of sales, you can't really advertise. And there's lots of frustrations that ensue.

 

Andy Splichal  8:35  

Sure. So a couple of follow up questions on that you said there were there were five different elements. But you need to make sure you're forcing map pricing. Do the other four elements really matter? Or is it really all about price?

 

Will Haire  8:49  

No, it's not all about price. At the end of the day, Amazon will will just rotate through the listing. So you could be highly priced. So you could you could sell the same item, you know, 10 times the cost of the average seller. You just won't get the buy box very much. But if you have a spectacular you know, if your accounts mature, if you have a good seller rating, if you have no count health issues, you will win the buy box, you just won't win it that often, like maybe less than 5%. At the end of the day. It's an interesting test, but we normally see is we'll do a lot of split listings. We'll do a fulfilled by Amazon. And we back it with a fulfilled by merchant if they have the third party capabilities. And the purpose of that is we don't want to sell out we don't want to lose inventory because of the adverse effects on SEO, which would kill us. So that's why we have those two listings in place, but we know that those two listings price at the same exact price point. Technically according to the system, the FDA listing should win every time but it doesn't and wins about fit. It loses the buy box about 15% of the time give or take. So a lot of times when we see this we'll see our Buy Box between 80 to 85%. And we know that's wrong Fleet Amazon just cycling through, because if there are people on the listings, it's going to pick the one that thinks is going to get the sale and it's going to cycle it through. And it's all algorithmic. So it's looking at those, those five facets of the account, the maturity, the seller reviews and ratings. And they're using that to dictate who gets the buy box and who doesn't.

 

Andy Splichal  10:20  

Interesting. Now, the people who don't get the PIO box where it says you can also buy from these merchants, and there's a little link below the Buy Now button. How often are those used?

 

Will Haire  10:33  

less than 10% of the time, it's barely ever like, you know, I would not count on that. If you have like, our rule of thumb, if you're less than 85%, on the buy box, you have Buy Box issues. But if you're, you know, 10 15% Buy Box ownership, that's not a good product for you probably should not be investing too heavy and other marketing activities. And so you can resolve the Buy Box issue. And that will be either, you know, MAP policy enforcement, removing third party sellers using cease and desist letters, there's all different tactics on how to get it on. But I will say caveat is that if they are getting these products legit, and they're not counterfeit products, they are 100% allowed to sell them on Amazon and Amazon will boot them off. Just because you're the brand owner. There are processes, but at the end of the day, this is why the MAP policy and MAP policy enforcement so important, and that's why I'm hammering it home a lot has to do with map.

 

Andy Splichal  11:30  

Interesting. So let's say you have the buy box, what are some most important aspects when you're trying to increase your conversion with your Amazon listings? Is it product, your product listings, your description, your images, the product yourself? What what is it?

 

Will Haire  11:47  

It's a little bit of everything. And I could dive into that. So you know, there's there's two, two things we look at when we're looking at, you know, we're boosting sales. So the first thing we're going to look at as the title. And a good indication of a good title is the click through rate. So we know when we advertise behind a product, if the title is relevant, and that's key with anything in advertising, if the products relevant, we'll see a pretty healthy click through rates. Anything below point one 5% is low. And ideally, the closer we can get to 3%, the better. But keep in mind, it's still ecommerce, and I'm talking about non branded searches we want to qualify and rank for for product oriented searches that are going to drive sales. So the title is one of the most important things and then when you're on the listing, and we're talking about ways to improve your conversion rate. You know, the images are key, good, crisp images will help with not only the click through rate but conversion rates, having images in place that answer a lot of typical questions that customers ask having in scale images, having a review image, these are all items you could put in place that'll help get the sale. Outside of that, you know, your bullets, and they shouldn't be loaded with keywords, they should have your unique selling proposition and take the first 70 characters, we like to use all capitalization, but we call those call outs. They're mobile friendly, and they allow skim readers to take the essential information from what you're getting out there. And moving further down the listing, then we're talking about our description. Ideally, your brand registered, we're incorporating a plus content. A plus content is enhanced content that allows us to have images and different call outs and showcase different sets of products on your product detail page. And also allows us to showcase information about the manufacturer. And those are kind of the main components of what we're working with in terms of moving the needle. And we can get even more in depth for looking at negative customer reviews. We're looking at other products to find where the opportunity is. But a big thing that's going to drive sales, if we're looking at from a listing optimization perspective, what's the organization have a catalog? Is my parent child relationship to these products optimal? Where there's less clicks that are most likely to lead to a sale? Is my listing optimized for search? And I certainly don't mean keyword stuffing, I mean using natural language that is focused and pointed. That's gonna get you to right oh,

 

Andy Splichal  14:14  

Let's let's right right there real quick keyword stuffing. I seem to see that a lot in the titles, where the titles really look like people are merchants are just putting in a bunch of keywords behind the product title. Do you find the benefit of that on driving traffic is worse? I mean, worth it? I mean, is it decreasing the sale? Or is that best practice? What do you think on that? 

 

Will Haire  14:40  

It's it's the worst thing you can do. I mean, granted, you'll you might index for a bunch of keywords, but you're going to index really poorly and you're not going to get the type of conversion. It's better to be focused and true to what the product is. And, you know, I'll give you an example. We work with a pressure cooker company, relatively large and they they have their list thing that had, you know, everything, it does yogurts, it's a pressure cooker. It's a multicooker. It cooks rice, it does all this stuff. And we were achieving some ranking, but it was all over the place. And it was difficult to advertise to somebody looking for a multicooker might be turned off if they see a pressure cooker. And there was all this confusion. And what we ended up doing is finding that the two keywords that we wanted to go after that was really focused. And we had advertising data backing up to say, Okay, we had really good conversion rates, we know that our cost per click is this. So this is where we want to double down. And that's an example of how we would look at it. So when you're looking at your titles, you know, no more than two root keywords that you're targeting. Ideally, the newer your product is with the less reviews, you want to probably pick one keyword and go for a longtail keyword, that you'll be able to achieve first page ranking within the first 30 to 60 days, and then kind of tear up the strategy based on that. And what a lot of people miss is that advertising is a big part of SEO and actually validating a lot of your hypotheses. So if you, for example, think that this product is at its core, it's a pressure cooker, it's going to sell the best that a pressure cooker, the next step to do is to update the titles and put some ad dollars behind it. And what we're doing is we're training Amazon's algorithm to say we convert and we will get sales for this keyword. And that's kind of the process, we also do a lot of split testing with our headings as well. We used to use a software called sell zone. But since then we moved off and we're using manage my experiment directly through the Amazon console. So these are different things that you can do. As you're looking at your your listing, and you're looking at the SEO and you're figuring out how can I take this to the next level? The first step is figuring out what do I have a good conversion rate on, and what's gonna get me the most sales, find the long tailed keywords, if you don't, if your listing is not validated and hasn't been around that long, and then come up with a tiered approach to your SEO and your advertising strategy that's going to drive the most amount of traffic that's most likely going to lead to conversion. And in the end, what we're doing is we're training that a nine algorithm to say, hey, we convert really well for pressure cooker, it's in our title, we're owning it rank, it's better, we want good BSR. And we want to show up on the first page.

 

Andy Splichal  17:17  

That's interesting. So you are you're saying that the paid advertising affects the SEO in Amazon?

 

Will Haire  17:24  

And that's what's different about Google and a Facebook and a lot of people don't realize coming from more of the traditional e commerce background. That yes, it counts sales velocity is everything. And Amazon is actually rewarding people for driving off platform traffic to the to the platform, I think they're offering a 10% reimbursement for the sales made using a link if you guys do it. It's a brand new program that we're running. And that's that's an example of what they're doing. So if we're talking about the basic components of what does ranking, it's, it's your text, relevancy. It's your fulfillment method, FBA versus FBM FBA every single time Amazon wants things that go through its warehouse so it can get its cut. But also it's a better experience, they control it. The the review count on the specific listing, the sales velocity on that listing, and a lot of that can be influenced by advertising, either on the platform or off the platform.

 

Andy Splichal  18:23  

Now, you had mentioned some software that you that you use, we had back in season one, a company called PickFu. That does, have you heard of them?

 

Will Haire  18:25  

I have heard of them, they have some really cool software. I haven't used them caveat, but we are considering using them for their survey and the survey and capabilities and what they can do with consumer feedback on Main images. So I do think it's a really good software. But I don't mean to interrupt.

 

Andy Splichal  18:53  

No, no, I was just gonna you answer my question. I was gonna ask you heard of them? Because I've heard really good things. Now, into different verticals, different product types. Have you found that certain verticals are going to sell better on Amazon than others?

 

Will Haire  19:08  

Of course, I mean, it's becoming so Amazon transitioning as a marketplace. So what we're finding is that it's, it's starting to be less and less about the vertical and more and more about the brand and the brand's ability to to build an audience on and off of Amazon. Amazon is putting pieces in place for us to build an audience. So Amazon live is the QVC of Amazon and that's picking up some traction. There's a there's an Amazon live team, and it's still free for the moment. Amazon post is Amazon's attempt at Instagram, but it shows up on a lot of pages. It's still free at the moment. And a lot of these types of initiatives that they're they're pushing is designed to kind of build that audience. And what I like to say is 50% of growth can be achieved directly on Amazon, Amazon shopping behavior. Most of the people searching on their bottom of the funnel, they're looking to make a purchase. If the item is under $100, they're probably making the look a purchase making looking to make a purchase that day. So, you know, are there challenging verticals? Of course, if you're in the beauty space, I mean, beauty is pretty competitive. Pet Supplies is pretty competitive. But at the end of the day, it comes down to Amazon's a brand centric platform. So how strong is your brand? And how much are you willing to invest in order to build that brand awareness? And how much do you care about your brand, you know, early on, you may be focused more on your website, which makes a lot of sense, retention, marketing, you know, collecting email addresses, these are all pieces of it. But eventually, you'll hit a point where you're being misrepresented on Amazon, it'll come to a point where you want to control the sales or know how much sales is actually coming through that platform. And that's when it makes sense to kind of dive deeper and figure it out. So I will I won't say that there's any specific verticals, what I will say is there's specific brands and types of brands that do really well. And to be perfectly honest, Andy, I work with brands, we don't work with resellers, we don't do retail arbitrage. That's not our specialty. So okay, there are ways to make money as a reseller, there totally is a retail arbitrage methodology that works. We don't have as much experience in that. And those are the types of brands that we work best with.

 

Andy Splichal  21:21  

Okay, well, since you're you're working with private label companies, let's, let's talk a little bit about brand registry, because I'm sure that's got to be really important for them. So if I understand it correctly, this is registering your brand with Amazon, and then you can add more content, etc. Is that in a nutshell? Or is there more to it than that?

 

Will Haire  21:40  

A little more to it. But yeah, I could break it down to brand registry a is very important if you want to own your brand and have a lot more control over so everybody we work with, we take through the brand registry process, not only do we get different advertising types, Amazon display, and Amazon sponsored brand ads, which are banner ads and programmatic ads that could target customers on and off Amazon. Based on certain behaviors on the platform, we also get a plus content, we have data that says, when we implement a plus content to a landing page, we see at least a 25% improvement in conversion rates. So a plus content is only something for brands. The Amazon storefront is an Amazon asset that you can use to drive traffic on Amazon, through sponsored brand ads to specific pages that you put lifestyle images, you showcase products you call about your unique selling proposition, it's your Amazon website. And the best part is there's no competitors on it. There's no other advertisements, that's your real estate, and the durability that convert. So these are some really great tools and features we get with a plus. Another thing that's missed that a lot of people aren't aware of its contributor ship. contributor ship is controlled by brand registry, which is controlled through brand services. So let me give let's go back to our third party seller situation, because we do this a lot. If I have a listing that has 50 sellers on it, for example, Amazon's not going to know who should control the listing who should control the title, who should control the bullet who should control the description. If you're not brand registered, Amazon's gonna take inputs as it comes in, and you're gonna get all types of crazy stuff. And it's actually a tactic where we've seen sellers take over a listing and swap out the main image with something vulgar, something that shouldn't be there, it's definitely Blackhat. And it is what it is. If you have contributor ship, though, you you're telling Amazon, I'm the registered brand, this is my trademark, and you are letting Amazon know through brand services that my input is the input that should be taking where the brand. And I will say 80% of the time, Amazon will honor that when it you know when they have a mishap because it's algorithmic, we're able to get it corrected pretty quickly. And that's another benefit of the brand registry.

 

Andy Splichal  23:58  

You know, that's that's a great point. You don't want somebody else messing up your listings for sure. Yeah. What about discounters? You had mentioned that earlier that if somebody it's genuine, and it's the same price, there's nothing Amazon can do. But what if your client didn't sell to that person?

 

Will Haire  24:20  

Yeah, that's the MAP policy, that is something that will logistically need to be worked out by the team. So you know, what we will do is we'll reach out to them directly will the clients we have provided that they allow it, we will buy the product to make sure it's not counterfeit, we'll send out cease and desist letters. And we will escalate it to a legal group who will go after them and get them to take it down. Generally, that's the course that we take and it takes anywhere from three to six months give or take, depending on how all these go. But what I will say if they're buying it legitimately is to find out where they're buying it from, if possible, and to kind of kill them at the source. I do. We, you know, we we work with people who want to control the brand experience for the most part. So with that being said, you know, we put an emphasis on going after these third party sellers and doing everything in our in our means that we can actually do. But at the end of the day, if they are buying it legit, and they want to continue to sell it, they're going to be able to until they're out of inventory. And that will be something that needs to be tackled outside of Amazon, and of course, will help with that. But that would be your logistics team and whoever manages your, your wholesale accounts.

 

Andy Splichal  25:33  

Now, one of the dangers of being on Amazon or, or advertising on Facebook, any any medium where you don't own it, is you're at the mercy of of the company. Have you ever had a client suspended from amazon for no apparent reason?

 

Will Haire  25:50  

A suspended from Amazon No, you know, we do deal with and we take on accounts that have been suspended, we'll do the plan of action comes down to severity of the suspension. So I will say if you're caught buying reviews, for example, your account shut down permanently, that bank account and that ein will not be allowed to open up any other account on Amazon. So the price to pay for manipulating reviews and manipulating SEO, I know search funded by is something that's really popular, hard to track, I will say that Amazon figures it out and they catch people, I have heard stories of sellers who just had friends and family buy, but somebody buys from an account that has access to the seller account. And six months later Amazon figures it out and bang just like that count suspended. For minor things, it's a lot easier to get going. Rarely do I hear it's for no reason. What I will say it's more common, have your listing suppressed, or taken down. And I'll give you an example. Because probably anybody selling on Amazon has heard of the pesticide issue. We're in products that are not pesticide products at all. But there may be anti microbial or anti bacterial will be flagged as pesticide because it's an algorithm and it's not as smart as a person and the tactics to get that back online. It varies. But in the pesticides case, you know, you file a grievance, you open a case to say hey, we're not a pesticide, they may make you take the test they may not. And we've taken that to the next level is that we'll actually reach out to the agricultural board for the particular client, whatever state they're in. And they will draft the letter saying that these products are not, you know, governed by the Agriculture Department. They're FDA products, because maybe their skincare or whatever else, and we have that letter. And so we're able to kind of turn around these problems really quickly to get these listings back online. But generally, it was in a skincare line that that happened. Yeah, that was in the skincare line. And we actually use it for a water bottle person too. They hit the water bottles for pesticides. And it was the same thing. We had them go, we went to the agricultural board, we have drafted a letter saying these products are governed by FDA. And that was it. So whenever it's algorithmic, so every three to six months, they'll they'll flag the listing that might pull it down. And usually within 24 hours, we resubmit the letter, we say, hey, you need to put this back up. We're losing money. And they usually get it up pretty quickly.

 

Andy Splichal  28:20  

Yeah, let me ask you another question. What are some of the struggles that you've gone through over the years with your agency delivering results using Amazon?

 

Will Haire  28:29  

Yeah, I would say the challenge it comes down to product market fit, I would say, you know, the biggest challenge is launching products. You know, launching products is an investment. And it takes a certain amount of time. And so we've really shifted how we handle launches and kind of the different touches, we do to kind of help with that. But what we've learned and we have a lot of strategic partnerships now is when you launch a product on Amazon, or even your website, there needs to be a lot of different other marketing activities happening at the same time, in order to get traffic in order to get sales in order to validate your listing. And I'll throw out a couple of examples so you guys can kind of get an idea. So for example, if we were doing a launch on a brand new brand that has no exposure on Amazon, you know, the first thing we're to do is you know, get the products listed online. Make sure we're compliant, make sure we provide all the necessary information that we need, optimize those listings for shirts, get them listed properly. And then in conjunction, we're likely working with an SEO company we like to use somebody called each PW they're a commerce company and their their thing is that they will get your product listed in a bunch of different media outlets. promoting it as a top new gift or whatever else. We love gift guides around Christmas. So that might be something we'll do and they'll push it and they'll push traffic to our listing will also work with different marketing And elements. So we might be driving a small portion of your Facebook a small portion of your search. And I'd like to say that, you know, we don't want to take a big part of it, you know, if you have $100, you're spending on search ad dollars should go to your website, but you shouldn't take a small portion and drive it to Amazon, because you will get rewarded. And the ability to be found outweighs that, especially in the long run. So when you're talking to Google search, I'm talking Google search, this isn't even including Amazon advertising, I'm talking about all the different components that should be in place that lead to a successful launch. And what we've learned over time is that the companies who don't do that, we don't necessarily have successful launches, and a lot of it's tied to 50% of growth is going to happen on Amazon, and the other 50% happens off of Amazon. And that's why I say it's becoming more brand centric. If you're not building an audience. You're not, it's not going to spill over to Amazon. And it's going to be difficult to leverage your brand equity when there's no brand. I would say that is probably what your challenges.

 

Andy Splichal  31:04  

Yeah, you brought up an interesting point is sending non Amazon traffic. So Facebook, Google Search Traffic, How do you track the success of that, since you can't, obviously, add a conversion tag to the confirmation page on Amazon?

 

Will Haire  31:22  

Yep, so there's actually two ways the first one is a new feature, not a year old now. But Amazon attribution, it's a unique tag, we can come up with the end of the URL, and it actually allows us to track all the behavior from off Amazon tactics. So if you're driving Facebook ads, I would give you a link we would segmented by whatever the campaign is, and we will be able to track behavior to that to a specific listing. And the other tactic is using UTM. The Universal tag managers exist on Google that also exists on Amazon, you do that through your storefront, both of these features are only available for brand registered brands. And we can monitor behavior on the storefront, which is different from the product detail page using the UTM. So we have actually two ways to track sales performance. If you're not brand registered, and you don't have that ability, it would be difficult, you'd be sending traffic if you're blackbox. So normally, what we do is we will run Facebook or Google ads to your website or a landing page for 30 to 60 days to get good baseline data to figure out what works and what doesn't. And then we will redirect that traffic to your storefront and or sorry, you wouldn't have a storefront if you're not printers into your product detail page. And that, and then we would just assume we're getting a certain portion of ourselves from that, based on the baseline data we gathered driving to a landing page general website.

 

Andy Splichal  32:52  

Interesting. So another good reason to have brand registry in place?

 

Will Haire  32:56  

Yes, yep, I left those out lots of different betas to be a part of.

 

Andy Splichal  33:00  

So has there been any struggles? With all the stuff that you're doing? Has there been any struggles with your agencies that you could share with different agency owners on getting your agency known? How? How are you getting most of your new clients?

 

Will Haire  33:16  

We advertise, that definitely helps. But I will say word of mouth has been really great for us, I do a lot of volunteering in terms of doing a lot of presentations in front of people with different user groups, whether it's through meetup or among the online genius slack group. So there's lots of opportunities. There, I will say, a struggle from an agency perspective is finding good talent. So we, we are a boutique agency. So you know, my agency, we're really focused on retail brands, and we're high touch we, you know, we're not trying to be everything to everyone, we have a very specific model of customer that works best with us. And in our model, you know, we're looking for premium employees who who had at least five years experience on the place and you know, who who are charismatic and understand strategy, so on and so forth. And, you know, we have found it very difficult to find good talent. And what we've been doing is, you know, working with recruiters, as well as prospecting LinkedIn ourselves, and that has, that has been somewhat helpful. But I will say that's, that's a pain point that we're still struggling with and trying to work through. But, you know, we're still we're, I could have a lot worse problem. So I'm happy that recruiting is what I'm dealing with and, and maybe that's sales or anything else.

 

Andy Splichal  34:43  

Now, you personally, are there any business books out there that you can attribute to your journey as an entrepreneur?

 

Will Haire  34:51  

There's a bunch I like Mike Mike Michalowicz that I always butcher his name but he does Profit First, The Pumpkin Plan, Clockwork. I've read probably all of his books. And it's been game changing in terms of just how to look at processes, how to stay focused on your business, and how to grow. And the second business book that I'm reading, I'm actually almost done with a now I got about 50 pages left, but my business coach is having us do it. It's traction, and it's modeling the EOS, the entrepreneurs operating system. And we are actively going through that. And it's definitely been a game changer in terms of branding, focusing our growth goals and kind of understanding who we are, who our customer is, and where we want to be in the next year. And also, if I've unsolicited advice for any agency owner, I wish I didn't like two years earlier to get a business coach. I found another agency owner that is like twice the size that we are. And I just reached out and said, Hey, do you consult do you do? Do you do coaching and that happens that he does, and he's part of the entrepreneurial organization that yo. And he actually took us on and it's been just having somebody who's been he has stopped us from going down so many bad path that would have been negative outcomes. So it's good just to have that perspective. And as an agency owner, it's sometimes it's hard to get advice. You don't always know where to turn. So books are great and traction, and  Mike Mike Michalowicz books are what I recommend. And if you have the bandwidth, definitely a coach highly recommend.

 

Andy Splichal  36:34  

Yeah, tractions a great one. I'll give you another one. Just because of what you do. We had a guest on the show, I think in season two, who was the author of The Bezos Letters, which was, was really interesting. His name's Steve Anderson. But he went through and took the different letters that were written to stockholders, I think there's 22 of them over the years, and put together in two different points on how Amazon has been able to grow into what it did. So that might be an interesting one for you, or, or listeners who are interested in Amazon. Now, back to your agency, what problems do you solve for your clients? And how do you use that to stand out from their competition?

 

Will Haire  37:20  

Good question. Scaling, scaling has been our specialty on Amazon. So we have some really focused marketing strategies, leveraging the resources we have on Amazon to help brands actually scale. So you know, when we talk about our services on Amazon, in a nutshell, we're turnkey. So we manage all aspects of your your account outside of shipping inventory into Amazon, where we do have SOPs that we share. So our clients, the benefit we have is not only expertise that how to navigate the marketplace, and we work with a lot of retail brands. So we're if you're struggling with getting sales up, if you're having problem, you know, meeting your sales goals through your board of directors, which is something we get all the time, if you're having problem with third party sellers, if there is counterfeit issues like these are all the typical problems we're seeing from brands we work with. And essentially we take on those problems, we have our own methodology on how to address those while keeping the KPIs in place that that client has, which 90% of the time is always sales, because at the end of the day, it's about making money. And so that's that's kind of what we specialize in. So freeing up your time, but also freeing up a lot of the the intricacies of navigating that account and helping you guys helping our clients meet or meet their sales goals is kind of where we come in and the benefit of working with us. 

 

Andy Splichal  38:48  

Now you had mentioned turnkey, what what are the services that that includes?

 

Will Haire  38:54  

Beautiful, from an operational perspective, that is inventory management, sales, forecasting, and monitoring everything that's in terms of account health, handle all of your customer service, brand protection to make sure there's no counterfeit, helping you with the brand registry. The marketing is the post purchase email sequence. We set that up, we do split testing requests to review feature, as well as your promotional strategy, your SEO and your listing optimization. And then on top of that advertising, advertising pay per click on the platform and then advertising off the platform through DSP, which is programmatic advertising, that's our core competency and where we work. And then outside of that we have lots of strategic partnerships. If you're looking for a third party logistics company if you're looking for an SEO company, or different angles that are required to help grow your brand and grow your brand and Amazon at the end of the day, a rising tide lifts all boats so we are fully aware of that marketing. A well an omni channel approach is required. To grow on on Amazon as well as any other marketplace.

 

Andy Splichal  40:04  

So you had mentioned your boutique agency for Ecommerce, is that your perfect client? Is there a certain volume they had need to be doing a certain sales volume before they should contact you? What is your perfect client?

 

Will Haire  40:22  

Excellent, thanks for asking that a retail client. So if you are in retail ecommerce too, we do take ecommerce businesses, but we find our strength ECOM with businesses that have retail distribution, because they have a lot of trouble with usually third party sellers. And the I deal client is doing at least $2 million a year on the platform. And we you know, typically break it down monthly they're doing, you know, at least $70,000 a month, most of our clients are doing close to 100k we have a portion for the ad budget. There's generally a team in place that we work with, we generally aren't working with the owners. We're working with a marketing team, or logistics team. So our ideal client is a little bigger, they're a little mature. And the types of problems they're solving is either market saturation, how to improve their market share. And you know how to launch new products, how to build brand equity, and how to make sure they're maximizing their their return on investment on Amazon.

 

Andy Splichal  41:28  

And if a listener out there said that's me or maybe that's not me, but I still want to learn more. How would they contact you and, and learn more about BellaVix?

 

Will Haire  41:40  

Beautiful so you guys can always email me Will at BellaVix.com. Will Haire I'm very active on LinkedIn, I share things very often. I also have a couple of job postings if you're listening to this and think you might be a good advertising manager or strategist. It's all on the LinkedIn page. And then of course, check out our website, you can submit an inquiry through there BellaVix.com as well as Michelle is our chat person. She tries to answer things as quick as she can. So those are different areas that you can reach out to me personally as well as the somebody at my at the agency.

 

Andy Splichal  42:16  

Great. Well, thanks for joining us today, Will.

 

Will Haire  42:20  

Excellent, Andy, thanks for having me. This was great a pleasure. I hope you and your audience got a lot of value from this. And looking forward to doing it again one day soon.

 

Andy Splichal  42:29  

Great. Well, that is it for today. Remember, if you liked this episode, please go to Apple podcasts and leave an honest review. And if you're looking for more information regarding Will or his agency BellaVix, you will find links to his email and his website in the show notes. In addition, if you're looking for more information on growing your business using Google My Business or SEO, check out this month's featured course inside Make Each Click Count University not only can you purchase it for 4999 but you'll also get a two months free membership to make each click count university so the two months promotions for limited time so don't delay. In the meantime, remember to stay safe, keep healthy and happy marketing and I will talk to you in the next episode.