One of the things that makes for a better business is learning from people who are down that business path ahead of you. Scott loves to hear from people who have been doing Amazon private label sales for some time and one of those people he’s chatted with before is Greg Mercer, creator of Jungle Scout and Amazon seller himself. This conversation is a bit of an update to a previous episode (Episode 56), where Greg and Scott share their current tips about choosing products, launching, and the lessons they’ve learned over the years.
Greg Mercer’s criteria for good products to sell on Amazon
There are some common sense things you should be aware of when choosing products to sell on Amazon. Many people don’t think of these but would be hugely benefitted if they did. Here they are: Smaller products that weigh less than a pound – this keeps your shipping costs and fees lower. Nothing that can be easily broken in shipping or by use (that means electronics among other things). There’s really many more than we can cover in a short paragraph so be sure you take the time to listen to this value packed episode.
You’ve got to know how to research the depth of product markets to sell successfully.
You hear Scott talk about this issue quite often. It’s the role that depth of market plays in discovering if you have indeed found a true opportunity in a particular market. On this episode of the Amazing Seller Scott and his guest, Greg Mercer, go into quite a bit of detail about how each of them does market research, why it’s important, and the pitfalls you can avoid if you do this step the right way. Get ready to take some notes because these guys unpack it all the way!
Once you start ranking on Amazon you’ve got to keep your products near the top.
It’s one thing to enter a new market with your brand new product. It’s an exciting thing when you start to see your product sell. It’s even more exciting when you find your sales pushing your product toward the top of the search rankings. But how can you keep it there? That’s one of the many things Scott Voelker and Greg Mercer talk about on this episode of the Amazing Seller. They’re going to cover reviews, PPC (pay per click), and product sales, in depth. You won’t want to miss this one.
Jungle Scout: One of the best Amazon Private Label research tools out there!
When Scott first started selling on Amazon there was no software available to help with product and market research. He literally created a spreadsheet and tracked things day after day after day to find out what he needed to know. Now there are amazing software solutions that make that same research happen in seconds rather than months, and one of those is Jungle Scout, created by Greg Mercer. On this episode Greg unpacks the details of what Jungle Scout can do and how it works to help you optimize your product selection process – and he gives a discount on the software that listeners to this episode can get. Be sure you listen to find out how you can get that price break!
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER
- [0:25] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
- [1:40] An upcoming resource Scott is creating out of this episode and how you can get it!
- [2:38] Scott’s introduction of Greg Mercer.
- [3:57] The 10 X 10 X 1 approach – a review… and Greg’s criteria for good products.
- [5:30] Greg’s newer approaches to product selection.
- [8:00] How products and accessories can go together beautifully.
- [9:32] What does it mean when you say, “Depth of Market?”
- [12:10] Things to watch out for when doing market research.
- [15:17] Greg’s process when looking at his results in Jungle Scout.
- [19:21] Assessing what type of sellers you’d be competing against.
- [22:33] Greg’s current launch strategy for new products: more aggressive.
- [24:41] How both guys do Pay Per Click for new products.
- [27:12] The power of the new options in the Amazon pay per click engine.
- [31:41] Diversifying products: How it makes you different from the competition.
- [33:53] The issues to be aware of with more expensive products.
- [35:00] Information about Jungle Scout – Greg’s product.
- [43:70] Drilling into competitive niches with Jungle Scout.
- [44:30] New features coming to Jungle Scout soon.
- [46:53] Why Amazon private label is still a very good opportunity.
- [47:10] Why the product research phase is truly critical to your success.
- [50:40] Greg and Scott will be appearing in Miami together at an event.
TRANSCRIPT TAS 161
TAS 161 : (Open Discussion) How To Pick NEW Products in 2016 with Greg Mercer
[00:00:03] SV: Hey hey, what's up everyone! Welcome back to another episode of the amazing seller podcast. This is episode number 161. Today I am really excited to have my next guest on. He's actually a repeat guest and whenever we get together we just really enjoy talking about this topic and I think you guys are as well. Well, his name is Greg Mercer. You guys probably already know of him from episode 56 which was an amazing episode and has been downloaded a lot…
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A lot of you have listened to that. If you have not, I would definitely say go over and check that out. Again, that is the … Well, the link to that is theamazingseller.com/56 and you can listen to that episode.
Before you do though, you're going to want to listen to this one because this topic today is going to be how to pick new products in 2016. I'm going to be sitting with Greg Mercer here. I'll let him tell you where he is in the world but he is just bouncing all over the world literally. I'm really, really excited to have him on the interview … Well, not even the interview. The discussion I should say. It's an open discussion of him and I going back and forth talking all about what we're doing as far as looking at products, different ways that we're finding new products and different criteria and all of that stuff. All of that has been talked about in great length in this discussion. I don't want to say it's an interview because it's really not. It's him and I just going back and forth.
It does go kind of long. It's about fifty minutes so you may need listen to this in a couple of different bites but let me just say it will be worth it. One other thing that I want to remind you is that I'm going to be creating kind of like a cheat sheet where you can download all of the things that we talked about. I've had them broken down so this way you can follow along because there are some really good tips here that we give going back and forth like just kind of happened that you'll probably want to have as a check list. What I've done is I created a download. You can go over to the show notes page and find that download and number of this episode is 161 so it will be theamazingseller.com/161. Once again, that's theamazingseller.com/161.
I'm going to pretty much stop talking now so you guys can listen to this discussion that I had with Greg Mercer and everything that we talked about as far as picking a product in 2016. Some of those things that have changed since we talked the last time in episode 56. Enjoy this discussion with Greg Mercer.
[00:02:39] SV: Hi Greg, what's up man. How is it going?
[00:02:41] GM: Good Scott. How are you?
[00:02:43] SV: I am doing fantastic and I know you and I both just talked a little bit before we got on here. Where abouts in the world are you?
[00:02:51] GM: I'm in Rio de Jeneiro right now in Brazil.
[00:02:55] SV: Oh, the man. The man just bouncing all over the world. I love you man.
[00:02:59] GM: Yeah, it's quite fun. I appreciate you having me on the show. It's always a blast talking to you. I know we are going to have a lot of fun and I'm sure your listeners should get a lot of value out of this as well.
[00:03:09] SV: Yeah, absolutely. I wanted to have you back on because this has been a while. Episode 56 if anybody hasn't heard that with Greg we really talked about product research type stuff and how to pick a product and all of that stuff. Today what I wanted to do is really talk about 2016 and maybe like what might have changed or what things we're doing maybe differently as we're looking at the criteria or the products or even markets. We can just talk about a bunch of different things but I wanted to get your take and I'm really I haven't gotten your take up to this point.
It would be cool to record you and I having a conversation back and forth about what we feel Amazon is moving in what direction and what products we think or as far as like criteria and all that fun stuff. Sound cool?
[00:03:54] GM: Yeah, absolutely. Sounds like a great agenda.
[00:03:56] SV: Yeah. Nice. Yes, to recap about what we talked about is something that I usually talk about as far as like the ten by ten by one. It's like you find a product that you can sell at least ten units a day, $10 profit. That's one product, that equals 100 bucks a day. That's kind of just like an easy starting point and some people say, “Well, Scott what if it doesn't fall exactly there.” I'm like, “That's cool. That's okay.” It's $8 profit. That's cool but let's kind of again dig into criteria. What is your criteria in particular? Let's like just like revisit that. Maybe like what it was or if it's changed or maybe it's the same, just tell us what your criteria is.
[00:04:36] GM: Okay, yes. The ones we talked about episode 56 were some of that smaller light weight and we talked about the shoe box test. If it can fit inside of a shoe box, it's probably a standard size item which is a good thing. Essentially the lighter the better. If it's less than a few pounds that's good. We're looking for something that was simple, not easily breakable so stay away from glass, electronics, things with lots of moving parts. In episode 56 we talked about the price range of about like $15 to $50. Of course we stayed away from like patented products, licensed products, items like that.
As far as demand and competition, we talked about something that was selling at least 3,000 units per month. That's total for like a whole niche not one particular item. Then we also talked about how to locate something that's not too competitive. As we go into 2016 now … I'm always keeping a very close eye on the market both for my own products and just because … Same with you. You're in this stuff every day. It's still an excellent opportunity.
I'm still launching new products and they are still doing great. However, of course it is getting a little bit more competitive but there's still plenty of room for people starting out. I'd say some of these criteria has changed a little bit to go into these a little bit like less competitive areas. Some of the things I look for now is often times I go for a little bit higher priced points. Maybe before I was wanting to down to like $15. Now I'm usually looking for more like $25 to $30 that's the minimum.
It seems to be a little less competitive there. A few the other things to look out for is I really like to try to find … I wish I knew a better word for this but essentially it's like weirder items. If it's a product that like you can tell you buddies about and they think it's like a really cool product then like it's probably pretty competitive on Amazon to be honest with you. If it's something that you tell your buddies like, “Hey, I'm selling this now,” they are like, “Dude, you're weird,” then it's more likely a good product to sell on Amazon.
[00:06:47] SV: Yeah. That's interesting too. I think that is interesting and it's funny. I'll just break in here real quick. I had one of my students I was actually doing a coaching call with him. He was telling me that he found his product by watching a television show. A home network type TV, like a home improvement show. He's like, “I don't know. Never really seen one of those and it's kind of different.” Well, long story short he's going to be launching that product. You know what I mean? It's weird and kind of different if you haven't really seen it, does it mean that it's not searched for?
If it is searched for and it is kind of weird then it's in that price point well technically you could sell one compared to selling two of the lower priced items.
[00:07:31] GM: Right. Yeah. Items like really cool like cutting edge like fitness equipment or something like or some of these new like kitchen gadgets. Those are usually competitive but if it's like gum that you stick on the walls so your pictures aren't crooked. That's like a weirder item that you are going to find are less competitive. Those are some of the things I look for now.
[00:07:51] SV: Yeah, I agree. I've even thought about this as far as like you might have like a major brand of something but they have like replacement pieces or something that go to that. That's kind of interesting as well and it was funny. I was doing like a little searching around with the Web App of the Jungle Scout web app because I find myself kind of like trapped in there sometimes because I just started. I started looking in stuff and I see that there was something that I recently bought. I bought the main item that was like a $400-$500 item but then there was a lot of different things that go with this item. I'm like, “Darn! These products are selling for 40 bucks as accessories to this product that I could potentially sell that not necessarily people were going after because it wasn't sexy in a sense, you know what I mean?
[00:08:42] GM: Exactly yeah. I agree.
[00:08:45] SV: Even like something like a gasket or something that [inaudible 00:08:47] like a replacement piece that if something wore out of that product. Right. It doesn't need to be the … It's like if you go to the car dealership they go, “Do you want the rims that come from the factory or do you want the off brand over here and get them for $300 less program? Which one do you want?” Right. It's like, “Do you want to go to the dealer or do you want to go to the off the market place to get the parts?” That's what I'm saying like that's a whole other thing.
Again it might not be something that you're passionate about, which I do like to go on places that I'm passionate about but you could totally build a business right around that type of model. That's just my thoughts.
[00:09:21] GM: Yeah, that's absolutely right and I agree with that 100%. That's definitely where people's minds can shift to going into the market nowadays.
[00:09:31] SV: Let's talk a little bit about that depth of market because people that are tuning in right now for the very first time if they go back to 56 they listen to that, we did talk about depth but I always get this question. It's like, “What does that mean? Depth of market. What does that mean demand?” You talk about the 3000 units being sold. If people can visualize this, if they can visualize seeing like a list. Actually you know what I will get the screenshots, I'll get the screenshot, you guys can go over this episode. I'll leave it in the short notes.
What we'll do we'll go through that in there and I'll show you what I mean by this but depth of market simply put Greg, you chime in as well but depth of market like Greg is saying like if you're looking at the top ten listings for that keyword let's say garlic press and then you're looking at let's say that the very first listing has 2000 units being sold. Then the next seller below that one has 300 and then the next one below that has 100 and the next one below has 100 and 100 and 100. It might make up your 3,000 but after you get to the first and second one it really drops off.
You know that number one and number two are really taking up the majority of the demand of that particular product. You're really not going to get sales down 8, 9, 10 on that list. What Greg is saying and correct me if I'm wrong Greg but you want to see where the first one might have a 1000 and then the next one might have 500 and the next one might have 540 and the next one might 450 and the next one might have 320 and the next one might … As you are going down it's spread out amongst those ten, not just like the top three. Does that make sense?
[00:11:13] GM: Yeah. Absolutely. You did a great job explaining it. I can add a few things because like you're saying, no, this is something that's like really confusing to people and this is such an important trait when you're looking for these products. We're going to really dig into this but as Scott's saying if you can envision yourself and say, “Okay. If I were to take the place of the say the fifth result on this search page, how many items would I be selling?”
If the fifth seller now is only selling like 50 items a month. It's like okay you're going to be happy only selling 50 items a month whereas as Scott was saying in the top five or top ten sellers, if they are all selling like a few hundred or a thousand or whatever then it is like, “Okay if I was to get anywhere in those top results there I'd be probably selling a similar amount. That's a really good way to look at it. It's a flag to if the top seller or the top two sellers are taking up the entire market and then the rest of the people below that aren't selling any at all.
That's usually to me like a red flag. It's like a strong brand allegiance. For whatever reason people really like those top one or two items. That'll be something to be very cautious of.
[00:12:29] SV: Yeah and the other thing I think we should point out is when you are looking at those top ten results, are those top ten the same product? Like similar product or sometimes you search a keyword and you have like, let's just say it's a garlic press but then the next one might be a bag that you store the garlic and then the next one might be maybe a place that you can store in a little box. It's not a garlic press. Even though you're looking at the top ten and you're looking at the numbers doesn't necessarily you compare apple to apples.
You want to find ten of those garlic presses that you can compare because you're not competing against the garlic that's a storage bag. You're competing against the actual garlic press. That's another thing to just be aware of when you're looking at those top ten or top twelve, whatever you're looking at.
Like Greg said you're really trying … Think about it like you're trying to come in and find a spot not one and two but a spot where you can come further down the list come in, gain that spot in there by doing some promotion and doing some pay-per-click or whatever. Then being able to wiggle yourself into that spot so then you can then start getting that particular sales of like 300 or 500 a month and there's you ten per day, ten or fifteen per day. Anything else you want to add there Greg?
[00:13:44] GM: Yeah, just to re-emphasize your example about like the garlic press and the bag. This is another kind of like common mistake or a point that people aren't very clear on and they ask me questions about. If the garlic press bag's only selling a couple of hundred and he's the only one ranking up there you definitely don't want to count in the sales for the garlic presses if you are thinking about selling the bag. Just to reiterate on that, that's really important. I'm glad you gave that example.
[00:14:14] SV: Yeah I know because I see that as well. On the other thing that'll throw you off sometimes too is you'll be looking at the numbers whether you're using Jungle Scout or not. You'll look at the numbers of sales that are coming through. Then you'll look at how much, the units that are all selling for. You'll see maybe that the one that's got a lot of sales is that bag, let's say and it's only $8.95 but the garlic press is 29.95. Then you can start looking at that and going, “Wait a minute here. That's got like 1500 sales a month but it' the $8.95 product.” That's the garlic bag or whatever.
Once you get into it too, once you start to like identify this stuff it becomes just like second nature. That's like your process. Like for me, first thing I used to is go to whatever I'm looking for click on Jungle Scout, the web extension. I'll go in there, I'll look at all of the different listings that come up but then I start with the price. Making sure that the price is all above where I want it to be. Then I'll go to the units sold, then from there I'll look at the reviews. That's kind of the process. What's your process really Greg when you look at that little screen shot of like the results?
[00:15:25] GM: The first two items that I look at would be … The first three items I look at are the estimate monthly sales column, I look at the price column and I look at the number of reviews column. Those are the things that right away I can just look at for one second and I'll right away know whether I should just spend another minute looking at this item or if it's something I should just X out and find another. Like we said the price points I'm looking for something now … That's usually a little bit more expensive like 20, 25 … Excuse me. Like $25 or $30.
Then we just talked about right then what I'm looking for in the estimated sales column. As far as the number of reviews I'd like to see if we're looking at the top ten review results of the number of reviews they have I'd like to see a few items. Say maybe one or two items in the top five that have under a hundred reviews and in the top ten I like to look for like five people that have under a 100 reviews. That's my personal criteria.
To me that means it's a bit younger like less competitive market that should be easier for me to sneak in there if I'm just getting in today. These really mature markets that have … Everyone has like a 1000 reviews, it's really hard to get in there and get ranked up with those guys and start making sales.
[00:16:42] SV: Yeah. I like that. Again, you're just like looking at the main point or the main numbers first that you're looking at so this is where you can decide even if you want to go any further, which is great. Now the other thing is, I want to point out to people too is sometimes, and I have talked about this before numerous times. Whether it's at my workshop, the podcast, whatever but it's like where you're going to start looking at like these numbers and you get excited because you're like, “Wow, they got like fifteen hundred sales and they've only got three reviews. “
First of, that's a red flag to me that they might be running a promotion and then in that promotion then I have to go back and start looking at the history of that. In my process I go over to camel, camel, camel, I look at the history there. Then I'll also want to go just not for that particular listing but then I also want to look at the history in Google trends. That's like my secondary part of that but camel, camel, camel is the one that I use to look at the history or I'll also go right to that listing and I'll see when they started getting their first review. That'll tell me kind of like when they started selling that item. If it's real fresh then that's a red flag to me. What about you Greg?
[00:17:49] GM: Yes. Absolutely right. For those of you who don't know this, in Jungle Scout and the estimate in sales are based off the sales rank. As Scott is saying common promotion or launch strategy will be to give away a whole bunch of units to get reviews and it's super effective but that is one thing that kind of throw off the estimate in monthly sales. If they just gave away fifty products in the last two days, according to their BSR it seems like they are normally selling that many in two days. That's going to give an inflated monthly sales volumes. That'd be a red flag. Like Scott said you can look at [inaudible 00:18:27] which if that BSR has been consistent for the past couple of months, that'd be like a really good fine but a lot of time on times like that you'll find it just launched a few days ago. These are obviously doing giveaways right now. That's something you want to be on the lookout for.
[00:18:45] SV: You're just doing your little bit of investigative work. Like I said, if it seems too good to be true then you got to start digging in and that's what I mean. If you see everyone else has like 300 reviews and then there's this one struggler that has 3 reviews but they have more sales in revenue, that's usually a red flag. It's usually the reason why they are doing it because they are doing a promotion. Then that does also mean then maybe you should keep an eye on that one to see how well it does for running that promotion and see what it does in the next month or two. That's another thing you can do. Obviously it's going to take some time to track that but it's another thing that you might want to do but that's usually a red flag to me.
[00:19:22] GM: Scott, one other thing we should touch on because I know it's a common question a lot of people will have is people are worried or are curious about what kind of sellers that we look for if Amazon is selling all the products, you know they own the buy box or if they are FPA sellers or fulfilled by martian sellers and so forth. I'll give my quick take on it and then I'll let you what you think.
For me personally I'm not scared to sell against Amazon. Okay. I know this is against a fair amount of people believe but these are my reasons why is that. For one, the listings that Amazon selling on are usually less than optimized. They usually have like one or two like kind of crappy pictures, not very good bullet points or description so on. You're not going to find any of those products in the sponsored ads section. Amazon doesn't run PPC on their own products. The other kind of nice thing about it is you never have to really worry about Amazon. Not like I worry about this much anyway. You don't really have to worry about them taking any kind of like shady tactics. Right.
Amazon's not going to leave like a fake one star review on you. Like I said, it's not a big deal. Nothing to be really scared of anyway but it's kind of another bonus against selling against them. Me personally, I don't really care if it's Amazon or FPA or fulfilled by merchant item. Sometimes I actually prefer to compete against Amazon. That's my take on it. What are your thoughts?
[00:20:53] SV: Yeah. No, I'm right up there with you. It doesn't scare me at all. If anything like you said it gives me a little bit of a better feeling because I know that Amazon's not going to be really running promotional blasts. They are not going to be out there pushing to get reviews to beat you and they are not going to be doing any of the negative review kind of tactics that people pull out there doing on competitive items. It does not. I don't see that as being a huge deal at all. Like you said, a lot of times they are less than optimized so there you can come in and do a better job.
To me it's not a disadvantage. If anything it might be a little bit of an advantage in some cases, not all cases but in some cases. I get that a lot too. They are like, “If I see Amazon selling it, should I just not go in there?” I'm like, “No, actually you probably should go in there as long as you don't have other people in there that are private labelers that are taking over that space.”
[00:21:47] GM: I know a lot of people say Amazon's platform or course going to rank you better … Are themselves better and so forth. I've actually not found that to be the case at all. Let's keep in mind Amazon their number one goal is to make customers happy and to make the most money possible. Right. Keep in mind, every time they sell an FPA item like one of your items Scott or my items, they make a pretty good chunk of money of it as well. A lot of times it's actually probably just as much or more than the items they sell themselves. I don't see any reason even in the long term that they'd start ranking their product favoring their rankings and so forth. Some of it just get out there and send those comic question.
[00:22:32] SV: Yeah. Let's move into a little bit maybe of like a launch strategy that you might be thinking about in 2016. What is Greg's launch strategy? Has it changed since 2015? Is there anything different? Do you have one? Do you not this a launch strategy? Give us just a little bit of that.
[00:22:48] GM: Yes, good question. I've gotten a little bit more of like aggressive with my launch strategies. I don't know if it's necessary because I had to but it just works so well. Before I was only giving away like 20 or 30 items and I should get my reviews. Now a lot of times I find myself giving away like 50, 60 or 80. Just because … Once I really sat down and started doing the math, it's like okay. Yeah I'm giving away I'll say 80 units and maybe like I'm losing 5 bucks a pop.
It's like, okay would that be like $400 or however much it is. It's like man, now jumping up to like this top ten results so much faster and starting to make 80 or 100 bucks profit a day. It's like it's a no brainer once you really sit down and do the math. Before I think I was trying to be like … I was costing myself money by trying to save money and not give units away. That's my launch strategy now. A lot of times or even maybe I'll start with giving away like …
Let me clarify a few things. I initially will give away like ten units to get some reviews. Okay. That will be like of course like a week. At that point like I'll start running pay-per-click and that's when I'll start giving away like that next week maybe like 50 more units or 80 more units and I'll do like 10 items a day or so. I found that really works well. I've never tried doing like a hundred the same day. I think when Amazon changed our terms like last summer I think they were trying to steer people away from that or kind of not like that. I feel like giving away like ten or twenty a day as no problem. That's what I've been doing.
[00:24:35] SV: Okay. I'm with you. You and I are very, very similar in that. Now, pay-per-click let's talk about that really quickly because you touched on that. What do you do, you just fill up an auto campaign and throw like twenty, twenty five bucks out? What do you do there? For just starting it. For just like you are launching and then you want to start pushing those keywords and stuff that you want to get ranked for. What do you do there?
[00:25:01] GM: Right away I'll just start … Be honest with you, I have like one review I usually just go ahead and start it. I'll right away just start a manual and an automatic campaign. If you haven't started one of these yet, it's by listening you might think it's more complicated that it really is. It's super simple. Just go in there and just try to start it. You'll see an automatic button, click it and then as far as automatic campaigns Amazon's going to pick the keywords for you and start … I usually do my bid like a dollar and for that campaign I'll put like 30 bucks a day maximum. Then I'll also start a manual campaign.
For there, I import all of the suggested words from Amazon. Then I'll also go to Google's keyword planner. Find a bunch of keywords in there. I'll load those in and then lately I've actually been using a tool you find it like keyword tool.io. Again you put in seed keywords and it gives you other keywords to use.
[00:26:01] SV: It's almost like the Google planner that just gives you like suggestions.
[00:26:06] GM: Yeah. Exactly, right. Then I usually just load it a few hundred words into this manual campaign and again I set all my bids like a dollar and daily like 30 bucks and just let them run. One of the important things that I think a lot of people miss on is a lot of the statistics that Amazon gives you here are delayed by like 48 hours. I think it's important. Just go ahead and run it for like a week before you even touch anything because you can't really tell like maybe your average cost of goods sold is like say 50% but you just have it collected enough information. Maybe that's because you've only made one sale on the item. You know what I mean. I usually let mine run like for two weeks before I even start posing words and so forth. I'd recommend waiting at least a week
A lot of people like freak out like, “I've been running my pay-per-click for a day, I've spent like 50 bucks but haven't made any sales.” It's like just calm down, just let it run for a few days. Trust me. The statistics are just delayed.
[00:27:13] SV: You and I haven't talked since they added the phrase and then the exact and then the negative keyword. Are you utilizing that?
[00:27:23] GM: I'm not but I need to be.
[00:27:27] SV: Yeah it's really, really cool and you know what, I'm loving what Greg is I'm loving the reports that it gives you because now … They did it before too but now you are able to take like let's say you're running the broad which you are currently because that's what you have as a default. Then from there you look at all of the actual keywords from your data report. Then you take those, actually the ones that are performing well and then lower them into a phrase match and then start throwing money at those. Then once you find some winners that are converting like crazy then you can bring them over into an exact.
Then anyone that you want to put as a negative keyword into a keyword campaign to kind of pull that so it doesn't compete with each other then you can do that. It's really awesome here.
[00:28:08] GM: Nice. I need … It's been on my list of the things to do for a while. I need to get there and do it. For whatever reason, I guess they released it to people kind of like in phases.
[00:28:16] SV: Yeah, like a beta yeah.
[00:28:18] GM: I can swear my buddies have had this for like two months. It just showed up on my account like literally like probably a week ago. I need to get in there and take advantage of it.
[00:28:25] SV: Yeah, it's cool .It's cool. It can be time consuming like everything else. You can go in there and look at all the data and all the numbers and all the stuff and they you're going to come back and look at it. It's definitely, it's a great tool. That's why I always tell people, like why are you trying to go externally with traffic, until you've maximized like the pay-per-click. We're putting it in front of buyers that are there with credit cards on file versus going out to Facebook and driving people over to your listing that they didn't want to get really interrupted with their Facebook fun time.
[00:28:54] GM: Right. Yeah. I think you're crazy if you start worrying about driving external traffic until you've done a lot inside of Amazon.
[00:29:00] SV: Yeah. No, I totally agree with that. Okay, the other thing is I wanted to touch on, we talked about pay-per-click, we talked about your launch strategy and … Just going back to that again and you've kind of done all of that stuff. Do you use any type of like keyword loaded link when you're sending them there? I know a lot of people are like, “Does the super URL thing still work?” What's your kind of thing with that?
[00:29:30] GM: What I've been doing just recently is a lot of times I'll ask for the reviewer to search instead of giving them a direct link. I'll just say, “Hey can you search for marshmallow steaks, this is what the picture looks like, click it and order with this coupon.” I personally think that's the best way … Kind of helps show Amazon what type of words are relevant for your item. I don't think it's super URLs as you know we've been calling them lately. It's a little bit of a grey area. Some people think they are not allowed, some people think they are whatever. As far as just asking someone, instead of giving someone a direct link saying, “Hey, search marshmallow steaks and then purchase this.” I think that's totally fine and … Theoretically I think it should work better.
[00:30:26] SV: I agree with you. I think that the best way is if you could have someone manually go search. The problem is with people because they are saying what the review group they don't want to do all that work. You know what I mean. I get it but a lot of people are saying but does it even still work? I did recently just a do a launch for a new product and my recommendation for anyone or just myself anyway is that I'm going to use it and if it works it works, if it doesn't, it doesn't.
It's not going to hurt me, I don't think it's going to do anything to my account or anything. It's either going to work or it's not going to work. I did it on my last one and I got to be honest, I think it worked because I'm ranking very, very … I was very quickly for that keyword and I moved up pretty well but the key is you do that maybe but then you got to instantly start pushing pay-per-click to that keyword as well because you can inflate that, manipulate the BSR for a little bit when you do your promo but then as soon as those sales start to drop you're going to start to drop. You got to really … That's why I always say as soon as you do that almost start running that immediately alongside it, that way you can keep pushing those sales, through that keyword.
[00:31:35] GM: Right, you kind of have to stake your landing and stay there.
[00:31:38] SV: yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Okay. The one thing I wanted to ask you about is like more expensive products because that is something that I'm looking into right now. I'm actually deep diving in the web app which is awesome, which we can talk a little bit too because some of those new features in there are incredible and I want to hear about those but myself going forward … If I started over, would I do anything differently? The answer's no.
When you first start you're limited to the amount of money that you're starting with so you always want to start with a less expensive product, you want to test it before you really scale up and all that stuff but now that you have cash flow coming in, I do think you should diversify your products and have some that are expensive, some that might not be as expensive and you kind of mix it up. With that being said, the problem with that now is it's expensive, right? It's expensive to do that.
You're talking if you're going to launch a product like if you're going to launch a product and it's going to sell for forty bucks, what are you expecting the pay landed in Amazon FPA, you personally.
[00:32:44] GM: I'd probably pay twelve, fifteen bucks for that item.
[00:32:47] SV: Okay and that's about what I'm thinking myself. Like you said like okay, I'm going to spend … Before I was going to spend between four and five bucks, now I've doubled that and maybe even more so now I went from if I want order five hundred units that goes up double the cost of what it would have started with. For a lot of people it's harder to do that but, big but here is it also eliminates some of that competition.
[00:33:11] GM: Sure right.
[00:33:13] SV: Me moving forward I'm definitely looking at that as well and I think anyone that's in that position to do that should as well. You've already kind of alluded to that you are doing that yourself.
[00:33:24] GM: Yeah. It's kind of nice to separate yourself from a little bit of the competition, I guess the fact that this whole sales model has a little bit of entries kind of like a blessing and a curse, right? It's really nice because anyone can get in there but kind of bad thing is anyone can get in there. That's right. Don't for some of those higher price items is going to get rid of some of the competition for the people who can afford it.
[00:33:52] SV: I guess my only other concern is then again just thinking out loud here and tell me if you've had these thoughts at all or if maybe if you don't worry about that but you have a more expensive product so now it costs you more to get it in there which is fine but now you get a refund, well that's a bigger refund too. Right? So you've got a return, now a couple of different things you could do and sometimes it's says it's damaged in the warehouse. Might be damaged, you could have them return back to you and if you could repackage them you can send them back in. That's one thing but if they are truly damaged, you can't sell them. Now you are out that particular cost. Hopefully it won't be enough to really put a huge damper into your margins but what's your thoughts on that?
[00:34:37] GM: Yeah man. This is exactly right. When you're dealing with more expensive items you just kind of have to be less sensitive to the cost. Right. At the end of the day it's probably only still like the 2% refund or whatever. It's just … If you look at the pricing like that item cost me personally twenty bucks now it's been returned. At the end of the day percentage wise, it's still the same. You just have to have a little more capital to be able to afford that.
[00:35:08] SV: Yeah, and I think that if you're selling products that are that high in price well you will have more cash flow. Right? On the average you're not going to be really hurt. It's just in your own mind you're thinking to yourself, “Oh man. That's twenty bucks that came back.” You just going to get past that but I think the same thing.
Okay let's kind of dive into some of those new features in Jungle Scout. Anyone that's brand new and hasn't heard about Jungle Scout Greg is the founder and creator of Jungle Scout which is a research tool for finding products. He's also developed well another product that sits alongside it, the web app which is more of a discovery tracking tool which is really cool. Again, if you guys haven't heard episode 56 I strongly recommend checking that out.
That's theamazingseller.com/56 but Greg, why don't you kind of give us an update like what's going on with Jungle Scout, what's come out? I know there's a lot of cool things that have been added, the web app being one of them and I'm a huge fan, you know that. Give us a little bit of what's going on in Jungle Scout world.
[00:36:13] GM: All right. Yes. We'll go first into a little history I guess. It started like a year ago with a simple Google chrome extension. It's kind of built for almost for my own use to start. One of the really nice features it gave sales estimates, it still does, gives sales estimates based off rank. All of a sudden instantly you could see approximately how many units are being sold for those particular items on Amazon. The Google Chrome extension for those of you what haven't seen it or can't picture it, it integrates into your browser.
When you are on the Amazon's store, if I search garlic press, I click a little button that I now have in the corner of my screen and instantly I'm shown a pop up that gives you all the relevant information you need to make an educated purchasing decisions. That'd be like estimated monthly sales, that'd be the number of reviews, it can even tell you things like what's the net after FPA fees and all those important information that we've been talking about that we use to make our purchasing decisions or product research decisions.
That evolved over the next few months and then the missing piece of the puzzle at that point was okay, like after I have a product idea, it's really easy to just decide whether it's a go or no go. At that point I was like, Okay, well now I need like more product ideas. That's when we invented the web app and the web app has a few different parts. The most powerful part is the product database and what the product database is is we've re-indexed Amazon's catalog in a way that is user friendly for us sellers to search through. When we are looking for product ideas on Amazon, and you can still do this you can go to the best sellers section, and you can see what items are selling well for others sellers and so forth.
At some point you start to kind of like run out of product ideas. Instead, we've really streamlined this by you can go to the Web App and in the product database you can filter by this criteria or this criteria we just talking about. It's like, Okay, Scott's looking for more expensive items now. He's maybe going to put like 35 or 40 to like $60 items. Scott wants something that's going to sell at least like 300 units for that particular item each month. He wants to find something that has low competitions maybe he's doing a low amount of reviews. Maybe you only want to sell in home kitchen since you only sell garlic presses Scott.
What I'm getting at with this is you can filter through all the exact criteria that you want and the Web App will spit out all of the products on Amazon that meet that criteria. It's really cool as you can imagine. Super powerful. Then we've recently added some cool things like our listing quality score. We've graded all of the listings on Amazon. All the ones in our product database. Now, to take it one step further you can say okay, show me the items that sell at least ten units a day, have less than let's say like 30 reviews, have a crappy listing and all these other items and it will show you all these.
It's amazing when you see some of these. Like I was looking at earlier this morning and it's like there's some items without pictures like seriously not even one picture that was selling like 500 a month. It's like holy crap. This an awesome opportunity.
[00:39:44] SV: As soon as that feature came out, I got the notification just as all of the users get and I instantly went into the Web App and I looked at them and I'm like these are cool. I went ahead and I used it and I'm not even kidding. Within like less than ten minutes, I had two products I could potentially launch. Now, they weren't around my brand so I'm a little … I want to try to find something there but I still haven't made my tracking, I'm tracking them currently right now in the Web App but…They sell for between thirty and fifty bucks. I was like, “This is pretty cool.” That was pretty good.
[00:40:23] GM: It's cool to see where we've come from like a year ago. Like before like there was no way to come up with product ideas. You literally just had to like search through the store and click on the listing, then scroll down and look at the BSR but you weren't even sure how many items a month that BSR sold. It's like it's crazy to think about how far we've come this year like product research like how much easier it is. You know.
[00:40:44] SV: No, it's really cool. Again, I mean for people that are again thinking well is it going to become more saturated because now everybody has this tool and my answer to that is yes and no. Yes, you are going to have all the tools but no you just have to be creative in putting something together. Whether it's creating a bundle now from this information, right. Taking something that you find and then from there bundling it with something else that you also find that's selling really well but they complement each other. Now, that's your bundle or something like that. Like, yes you have to be a little bit more creative.
Again as we talked, maybe you go for a more expensive products. Now you start looking at products that are selling between 30 and 50 bucks. Now, you've separated yourself from other competitions. There's always going to be competition which I think is a good thing. It's not a bad thing. It's something that you have to … It's almost like you have to get a skill set for doing product research and having these ideas of things that you can differentiate yourself with by using these products that are currently selling.
[00:41:48] GM: Another really cool thing you can do is to differentiate yourself. I've actually been doing this quite a bit lately. I'll go in there, I'll search for all the items that have like average review of like three stars or less but are still selling really well. It's like this guy's selling life five hundred a month but his average star rating is three stars. It's like people really want this item even though it's ranked bad. Well, let me figure out like why this is ranked bad. If you look enough you'll find some of them are really simple like, “Oh man, I just wish this had this small little tweak.” Or, “I wish this had lines on it,” or whatever. Those are the kinds of like small tweaks you can make by working with these factories. Kind of what you said like the skill set that kind of comes along with it. That's another good really good way to differentiate yourself.
[00:42:43] SV: Yeah. What Greg just said is I've talked about this before it's just now you can almost sort it by only seeing ones that are selling with your criteria but only three star or less. You know what I mean? Now you've just whittled yourself down even more. I've even heard you before actually when you and I did the very first release of the web app we actually shared, you shared basically how sometimes what you'll do is you'll just look at products that have fifty reviews or less only. That means all these other criteria and then from there you're going to be able to see a lot of these products that aren't being found because everyone else is going after the more competitive stuff. I love that.
[00:43:24] GM: That's exactly right.
[00:43:25] SV: I love that but I think those couple of new features that we just were released for the Web App are extremely valuable. I want people to understand that. When I first started, when Greg first started I didn't have a tool. I literally went through and I actually showed this on my workshop, I show a spreadsheet and I show basically just writing like the top five that I want track. Then I would go back every day and I would go ahead and I would look at their BSR and then I would look at their reviews. I would do all that all manually.
It was a lot of work to do but I was doing and that's how I found my first product which is still selling today but when this thing came out it's like, “Oh my gosh!” Like where's this been all my life because now you are like you can do so much more so much faster. Also you can really whittle down on the criteria even finer. To be able to check some boxes in the criteria, put in some number values of what you want to look for and then have it, have it go find that stuff or take in and poll all that data together is just so much faster than it used to be. Once again, I want to thank you for creating it because it's making my life a lot easier and I know a lot other people too.
Is there any other thing you want to add to product research launch? Anything that you think that we may be left out or didn't talk about before we wrap this up Greg?
[00:44:51] GM: You want me to let you in on the next feature, the Web App, I haven't told anyone about this yet.
[00:44:55] SV: Oooow. Okay. Honestly, everyone here 100% transparent . I don't even know what he's going to say so am excited.
[00:45:03] GM: The only guys that actually about this one are the people on the Jungle Scout team but it is pretty cool. I will just give you a quick little run down. You know right now in the Web App we went for specific products. So coming out is probably be in about another two or three weeks, so if you listen to us in the future, that will be like in the beginning of February. What we are doing is we have collected all of the most popular keywords on Amazon. So it is about three million keywords. So like first things like garlic press would be a keyword. That's like one of the three million most popular keywords. We've ranked all these keywords … We've assigned number values for the competitiveness of them, how much demand this keyword has, the seasonality and some other core like the average price point. Again someone with a product database, now you can filter through all of the top few million most popular keywords or niches on the Amazon store. Again I'm really excited about this it is going to be super powerful pretty cool stuff.
[00:46:07] SV: That is very cool and that is an exclusive. I did not know about that and I appreciate you sharing that and surprising me as well as the listeners I'm sure that they are just as surprised as I am, that’s awesome. That is really cool because there is really not been an effective way to look at keyword numbers and you can get an idea by the drop down when you are typing a keyword and see that must a popular keyword but you don’t really have number values to identify them. That is really, really awesome. I'm excited to see that and probably after have you do a demo or something for us we can put it on this post whenever it comes out we'll update this post and put it down there. Yeah that sounds really cool. Any other last little tip bit that you want to leave anyone with Greg before we wrap this baby up?
[00:46:59] GM: Yeah, all I have to finish with is looking into 2016, it too really got opportunities kind of like we said. Of course it is getting a little bit more competitive but I think the tools are kind of help us find these products are improving and it’s too a really good time to get into it. I wouldn’t hesitate if you are worried about it or thinking about it now. The product research phase is really critical to your success. I can’t really emphasize that enough. It’s really tough to get a product to sell if there is not already enough demand on Amazon or if it’s so competitive you can’t even get on there on the first page. I would recommend going by constantly this criteria we've talked about it will make your life way easier spending a few extra days on the product research phase. You will be glad you did as supposed to like rushing and giving a product that's not very good. This will be my last few bits of wisdom.
[00:47:59] SV: That’s really, really awesome and again I echo everything there because you are talking like trying to launch a product and I've always said a lot of people are like, “I got a product here that is not even on Amazon yet,” and I am like, “You don’t want to do that yet.” You know what I mean? Yes if you build out a brand and you want to start try to launch a product and it might be a hit, it might be. Right, it might be that invention that you came out with that’s going to be a hit. We don’t know that. We want to grab products that have proven that they are selling and from there we can look at this by using tools like this and just digging into the different products and keywords in all of that stuff. I can’t stress that enough. You will live or die by the research and by picking those products.
I do believe if you go through this type of criteria you will be able to prevent some of those hurdles or some of those frustrations that you can have in the future because you picked a product that just wasn't going to sell regardless. I definitely believe in that one 100%. All right, if anyone wants to check out all of the short notes for this, I will leave the link actually in the ultra. I don’t know the episode yet Greg so I will leave the episode number later but if anybody wants to check out Jungle Scout they can head over to amazingseller.com/js that’s for Jungle Scout, so js and that will take you to the page where I believe also Greg on that page they will receive some goodies over there.
I believe we have a discount for the chrome extension and I think we also have an additional number of items they can track if they go through that link which everyone won a 100% transparent. Here I am an affiliate for Jungle Scout because I believe in it, I use it and I know Greg is a great guy and just want to be 100% transparent with you and you'll buy me a cup of coffee which I love. Greg, is there anything else on that page that they would need to know about?
[00:49:55] GM: We have some old notes. They are from the last time where we recorded the show together Scott but you know now we said this, I should go ahead and update those with some of the things we talked about during this show. By the time the show is live, I'll have done that. If you want to go back there and download the new notes or if you haven’t gotten them yet, you can go and do that. There is also like a cool table that shows you rank versus unit sales per month for each respective category and then of course like we said there's a little discount at Jungle Scout as well. Head on there if you want to check it out.
[00:50:32] SV: Yeah, once again guys that link is the amazingseller.com/js, j as in jungle s as in scout. Alright Greg, this has been awesome, I'll let you get on with your day and I appreciate talking with you. Oooh you know what we should also mention this Greg, we are going to be actually in Miami together.
[00:50:50] GM: Yeah that’s right. I hope to see you there.
[00:50:53] SV: Yeah that’s going to be awesome. Anyone one this is another exclusive, I haven’t talked about this but Greg and I are both going to be at Steve Chou’s event in Miami, and we're going to be both speaking there and it’s going to be really, really awesome and I will be giving everyone the details there. I don’t even know if I have the link to that. Do we have a link to that yet, Greg?
[00:51:14] GM: Yeah, I was pulling it up on my calendar. Looks like it's May 19th to the 22nd. This is bad but I don’t know the link to it Scott, I'm sorry.
[00:51:23] SV: Yeah. You know what I will, on the outro I will leave that so when I come back in guys, hang tight I'll get you the guys the link, I should have been more prepared.
[00:51:32] GM: Yea, that will be fun hanging out there.
[00:51:33] SV: That’s going to be a blast, you and I are finally be able to literally shake hands and have that beer we talked about and talk with a bunch of other sellers that are going to be meeting us there. That will be really awesome so anyone that wants to attend that, Greg and I will be there together and again I will leave you guys the link in the short notes and also I'll leave a link right here as soon as him and I end this I will go and pop back in with that link after I pause this.
Alright Greg, again this has been awesome. I always love talking to you. I can talk to you for hours you know that. Let’s go ahead and wrap this baby up and I want to thank you once again. I appreciate it, I love what you are doing, I love the transparency as well, with all of your information and everything and I know that the audience does as well. Have an awesome day man and I'll talk to you soon.
[00:52:19] GM: Absolutely. Thanks again for having me.
[00:52:22] SV: Yeah, take care man.
[00:52:23] GM: Alright see you Scott, bye.
[00:52:26] SV: Okay, so what do you think? That was awesome, right? I love talking to Greg, we have an awesome time together, and I'm really excited that him and I are going to be able to literally sit down together and have that beer that him and I have been talking about at Sellers Summit, that was the link we were trying to remember. It is Sellers Summit and you can find all the details there for Steve Chou’s event that I'm going to be speaking at. Greg will be there speaking, will be there hanging out.
Just really talking about this business and looking forward to meeting you guys there as well if you are going to be attending. I would strongly recommend attending if you can. It's only going to be in Miami, which it will probably be really nice there too it's in May. Actually the day is May 19th through to the 2st. All about e-commerce, not just selling on Amazon but also building that external channel, e-commerce sites, all that stuff surrounded with a lot of people that know more than I do in that space especially. I'm really excited to attend, to speak but also to network and learn from some of the other people that will be attending. If you can attend there with us and that would be amazing and I know Greg and I would love to shake your hand and just hang out for those couple of days.
Again that is SellersSummit.com if you are interested in checking that out and if it's before May 19th and 21st you can go ahead and grab some tickets if it's not already sold out. That is pretty much going to wrap up this episode. Again the link to check out everything that Greg has going on would be the amazingseller.com/js, J as in jungle, s as in scout. so js and that will take you over to Jungle Scout's page or you can just go to this episode and the show notes here will be the amazingseller.com/161 and also there you will find some show notes that you'll probably want to download because I'm going to have these compiled into quick little cheat sheet, a little list of what you can do as far as in 2016 what we have covered and kind of have checklist there. I'm going to have that created as well as the show notes page. Again that's the amazingseller.com/161.
All right guys, that's pretty much going to wrap it up. Remember I'm here for you, I believe in you, I'm rooting for you but you have to … Come on, say it with me, say it loud, say it proud, “Take action.” Have an awesome amazing day and I'll see you in the next episode.
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- www.TheAmazingSeller.com/56 – previous episode with Greg Mercer
- www.TheAmazingSeller.com/JungleScout (affliate)
- Camel, Camel, Camel
- Google Trends
- www.SellersSummit.com – where Greg and Scott will be speaking – May 19-21st, 2016
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