Are you an Amazon Seller or just looking for information on how and what to sell there? This is for you. I hope you’ll let what you’re about to read sink in, and that it will help you pivot away from being “an Amazon Seller” and into building a real business that you can scale and sell for a 7- or 8-figure payday.
You See, It’s True
I sold millions and millions of dollars worth of stuff on Amazon in a bunch of different markets.
But I always knew from the beginning that if I was building an Amazon business, then I wasn't building a real business. So many in the Amazon e-commerce space are so focused on becoming a good Amazon Seller that they miss being a really great entrepreneur.
I hope to convince you that there's so much more action outside of this little puddle that we splash in - and that there’s a lot to be gained by shifting your focus to building a brand you can scale and sell.
How I Got Labeled As An Amazon Expert
Back in 2017, when I sold my business, I was in about a thousand retail stores. We had a little bit of a social media presence, some sales on our website, and we were on Amazon.com. Still, about 60 or 70% of our sales came from Amazon.
When I sold the company there were people who saw that as a big win for the industry. They saw it as proof that eight-figure valuations are possible for businesses that take most of their sales on Amazon. I got labeled as an Amazon Seller or an Amazon expert. That made me feel like a liar because I knew that I could barely navigate the back end of Amazon.com.
The truth was, I was an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur is someone who builds something that they're proud of who sees problems in the world and solves them. Still to this day, Amazon is the best place to be able to take sales for your physical product line. It's the best place to cross seven figures, sometimes even eight figures.
If You’re An “Amazon Seller” You’re Missing The Real Value
By value, I mean the value of your company, the value of what your business can be scaled and sold for. If you're an Amazon Seller or it's a big part of your business, I would invite you to consider starting to make the pivot from Amazon Seller to real business - and I want to share with you how I would recommend that you do that.
How To Become More Than An Amazon Seller
It starts by giving the customers that are coming to you from Amazon an amazing experience and a reason for them to follow you elsewhere. That can happen with a killer product. It can happen with a killer message. Or, it could happen with just the values you represent as a business and as a brand.
I always work with my students and my clients at finding the underlying branding. By brand, I mean:
- the values
- the mission
- the message
- why you're doing this
Before they even think about selling products or if somebody is actively selling a million dollars a year, finding the story that weaves the entire product line behind one central mission or message or person that customer that you are trying to help.
When you focus on the person that the brand is serving, it becomes much clearer what products to release and what price points you should be able to sell them for.
Why Does Your Branding Matter?
One of the challenges of just being an Amazon Seller is that you are beholden to this competitive marketplace where most businesses are selling the exact same thing that looks exactly like everybody else. There is this downward pressure in the marketplace to lower your prices and get more reviews, which squeezes out all of your profit margin.
I love that capitalism does that, but I also know as a business owner that you have to maintain healthy profit margins for one reason: to do a great job for your customers.
When you start sacrificing an incredible service and experience for your customers, you start losing rank, you start losing reviews, you start losing your eye on the prize, which is to build something that is truly valuable… valuable enough to be sold to someone else who will pay you for a business that has lasting value. Meaning that it will grow beyond you and pay you dividends for years, if not decades, to come.
The Secret To Building a Sellable Ecommerce Business
The only way to do that is by having the customer at the very center, which is Amazon's thesis by the way. Amazon's thesis is “whatever is best for the customer, we will back.”
If you want to be a great Amazon Seller, join them in that fight and do what's great for the customer. Yes, lots of people shop on price. And, yes, you can get a temporary bump by lowering your prices and getting a conversion rate increase. But the way you win long-term is by making all of your decisions focused on what allows the company to serve the customer.
It's rare that that happens by being the cheapest, having the lowest price, or having the most aggressive pay-per-click strategy. The pivot starts when you start serving that person off of the channel.
One Simple Way to Serve Your Customer and Build Your Connection
One way we encourage our clients or students to do this is to choose a charity with a cause you believe in and that will resonate with your customers. Put an insert in your packaging that says, “We donate (x amount) for every order confirmed. Go to this URL to confirm your purchase.”
Now, this accomplishes two things.
First, it gets people to give you their email address so you can follow up with them. But it does one other thing as well. It connects the customer with the values of your business. That is the pivot point for building a brand.
You don't need to do a charity offer, though.
There's lots of things that you can do in order to begin that conversion. But I like the charity approach because it forces you to think about, “What would resonate with my customer? What do I need to present to my customer that has nothing to do with what I want?” I actually have to do something for someone else in order to connect with my customer.
That's when you start thinking about what is best for that person. Most people say, “Get your next purchase for free” or, “Get a free rebate.” But that doesn't build your brand. It doesn't build customer loyalty.
When you start thinking about connecting with your customers and joining them in their values and the mission they are on now, you're building a business.
New Opportunities Appear When You Have A List Of Buyers
Of course, that opens up opportunities because you’ll have a big email list of buyers who believe in what you are doing enough to give you their email address. Now you can launch products on Shopify or drive them to social media.
But all of that is immaterial if the rest of the business doesn't match with the values and the vision that you are communicating in that insert. Do you actually believe what you say? Do you actually believe that you're an advocate for that customer? If so, it will show up in your social media content, emails, and in the types of products you release.
The beautiful irony of this is that when you make that shift, you start being able to charge higher prices. You start getting higher conversion rates. You start getting raving fans who voluntarily leave you reviews. And, you start crushing it even more on Amazon because you have the margin to be able to invest in scale and growth and contribution to that customer.
Focus On Customer Acquisition
There's one other pivot point that can help take you from Amazon Seller to a real entrepreneur. It’s when your focus goes into customer acquisition, which you can only do when you've figured out the first part of relentlessly serving your customers and serving them off of a channel like Amazon.
When your focus can go into how many customers you can acquire, how much money you can spend, or how many losses you can mitigate, then you can start outspending everyone else. That’s because you will have a system for being able to turn customers into raving fans and followers who want to buy from you over and over and over again.
Those two pivots: Being able to communicate directly with the customer, and being able to out-spend your competitors to get new customers - they result in success on multiple channels. Now you’ll have a very valuable business.
This Moves All The Needles
No one wakes up in the morning and says, “I want to be an Amazon Seller when I grow up.” No one looks up to famous entrepreneurs who are Amazon Sellers. We look up to entrepreneurs and creators. If you're an Amazon Seller, you're sitting on the most beautiful platform ever.
Making the shift from just “selling stuff” to having something of real value that people become raving fans of just requires a few simple pivots. Focus on the customer rather than the platform. And be aggressive about getting customers.
Develop a clear vision for the business that you want, not the business that you think you can build. Build the business you want, which is almost never selling random things on Amazon.com.
That's why I'll never call myself an Amazon Seller ever again. It's why I cringe when people say they have an Amazon business. There's so much more action, so much more juice, so much more excitement, so much left in the tank for you if you put your focus on a much bigger vision.
I'm Ryan Daniel Moran, just your average multi-millionaire. I did it through building businesses that you can scale and sell.
I help entrepreneurs do that, and I invest in them and help them make the pivot from being marketers and “selling stuff” to having real businesses they can scale and sell.
One of the ways that I do that is inside of our Incubator. So, if you are ready to make this shift, we can help you get clear on your vision and build the foundation of something you can scale and sell… something that has real value. If you're an entrepreneur building businesses I'd love to be a part of your journey.