What Amazon sellers can learn Top Gun fighter jet pilots

Hi Everyone,

The Amazon business landscape is undergoing 3 fundamental changes in 2024. 

Change 1: Last week we discovered the changing Amazon Fee Stack for 2024 and if you operated your Amazon business the same way as you did in 2023 – you would be in for a rude awakening in the additional fees you racked up.

Change 2: Suez Canal / Red Sea supply chain fiasco that is ongoing and the ripple effect it is having on rising shipping costs and longer shipping times around the world.  

Change 3: Geopolitics – this year is an election year in the US and there are rumors that China tariffs are not only going to stay but could rise up to as high as 60%.  

And China may even be designated the “Least Favored Trading Nation” with more repercussions to come.

One supply chain expert I trust repeats a mantra that the most “successful businesses are the ones that are AGILE”.

And you only need to react better than the next guy to succeed.

Like a Top Gun Fighter Pilot, when it comes to these challenges, these businesses will quickly pivot and find ways to avoid dangers, cut their risks, and quickly take action to accomplish their mission.  

In fact in the US Air Force, retired Colonel John Boyd, coined the concept of the “OODA Loop”

This is the principle of survival when Top Gun fighter jet pilots are engaged in dog fights in mid air.

During these battles, how quickly and effectively Top Gun pilots react and make split second decisions separate the winners that survive from the losers who crash and burn.

Let’s breakdown the 4 steps of the OODA loop:

  • Step 1: Observe the situation
  • Step 2: Orient yourself and your business
  • Step 3: Decide how best to maneuver
  • Step 4: Action – Effective and Speed

Right now in the ecommerce world we are having a fighter jet pilot moment with fierce competition and many  variables affecting our businesses.

Some businesses will survive and thrive in this battle.

Others who react too slowly or ignore these signs and don’t react at all will get there businesses shot out of the sky by the competition and crash and burn.

What can you learn from Top Gun fighter jet pilots?  

Step 1: OBSERVE the situation

Pay attention to the changes in the marketplace. 

The 3 main turning points sellers are facing this year: Amazon fee changes, increasing shipping fees and lead times, and Geopolitical risk of sourcing 100% from China.  

Observe how your competitors are reacting.

Step 2: Orient yourself and your business

Orient by looking for ways to reduce your fees so your business can remain profitable.

Orient by looking for ways to offset or minimize the rise of shipping fees and longer shipping times.

Orient by looking for ways to reduce the risks of sourcing exclusively from China by finding new sourcing options.

Step 3: Decide 

You decide on ways to manage your inventory orders so you hold the minimum amount to reduce your low inventory fees.

You decide to audit your inventory reports to find out the aged inventory that is racking up hundreds or even thousands of dollars in FBA fees a month!

You decide to consider alternate marketplaces like Japan:

  • Lower competition 
  • Amazon fees are lower
  • Shipping costs are cheaper than shipping to the US or Europe
  • Shipping times are shorter because Japan is neighboring Asian countries where goods are manufactured  

You decide to source from a different country like Vietnam so that

  • You can avoid the ongoing China tariffs and save 25%-60% on your landed costs
  • You can source profitable products that your competitors potentially cannot 
  • YOu can potentially cut your sourcing product costs 

Step 4: Action

Then you need to take action effectively.

Do not overanalyze.  Analysis paralysis is your enemy.

The fighter pilot with the shorter OODA loop to Observe, Orient, Decide, and Action more quickly than the competition WILL WIN.

At the end of the loop, the pilot will test the action and then OODA again.

Right now we are in a Top Gun OODA loop moment.

Smart sellers are shortening their OODA loops and pivoting and taking action. 

Some are making a sourcing pivot.

Others are making a selling pivot.

That’s why this Thursday, I’d like to invite you to join Meghla Bhardwarj, Marg Jolly, Kevin Oldham, and me as we give a live training on “Source from Vietnam and Sell in Japan. ‘

Date and Time: EST Thurs Mar 8pm EST (Melbourne 3/8/24 12pm, Tokyo 3/8/24 10am)

Topic: Source from Vietnam, Sell in Japan

You will learn:

  • Why you can’t do the same thing and expect same results in 2024
  • How to be like Apple when strategically sourcing away from China to Vietnam
  • Why new marketplaces are key to sustaining advantages over your competition

Seats are limited so RSVP now: https://bit.ly/49AiX43

See you then


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