Category Archives for Blog

The 80/20 of Ecommerce – July 9, 2021

Bye Bye Uncle Jeff! Bezos steps down as Amazon CEO 

Last Wednesday, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has officially stepped down as the company’s chief executive, handing that role over to Andy Jassy, in order to focus on “new products and early initiatives”. Bezos personally chose the date because it’s sentimental to him, it’s the exact day Amazon was incorporated in 1994, 27 years ago.

Bezos will transition to the role of executive chair in Q3, which started on July 1st, the company said. 

Andy Jassy, the chief executive of Amazon Web Services, will take over as CEO of Amazon. 

This is a big change and though Jassy is known to be in line with Bezos’ strategy, this is the first time that Amazon will run without Bezos at the helm.

It will be an interesting Q3 and Q4 as ecommerce continues to boom amid the number of challenges the world is facing.  

The Ever Given is finally leaving the Suez Canal

The Ever Given container ship which got stuck in the Suez Canal carrying 18,300 containers finally was given the clearance to leave this week. 

If you think you are having shipping headaches getting your products shipped from overseas, some unfortunate businesses such as Pearson 1860 which is a bicycle maker based in the UK, had over $100,000 of inventory stuck on the ship for over 3 months according to CNN.

They have “narrowly missed its busiest sales period” as a result. 

Moreover, 7 Figure Seller Summit Speaker Alum Bernie Thompson who runs an 8-Figure electronics private label brand called Plugable “estimates that about $60,000 worth of Plugable’s goods remain stuck on the Ever Given” according to a CNBC report.  

This caused his business to miss out on Prime Day for many of their top products.

This year is definitely a wild one in shipping and logistics!

Amazon competitor Shopify cuts app store fees for developers on first $1 million in revenue

Shopify announced that it’s lowering the share of revenue it collects from developers that publish apps on its app store. developers will keep 100% of their revenue from the first $1 million they make on Shopify’s app store, starting Aug. 1.

Shopify is following in the footsteps of tech giants like Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Amazon, which have recently reduced fees for some app developers.

According to CNBC, “During a presentation, Shopify President Harley Finkelstein said the company is also cutting its commission rates for developers who make more than $1 million annually to 15% from 20%. That’s “half of what other popular app stores cost,” Finkelstein said.”

Could this mean that more developers will flock to Shopify and improve the selling experience?  We will see how this translates in terms of seller volume as well as consumer behavior.  

Here are some things you may have missed from last week:

Exciting news! 7 Figure Seller Summit waitlist is now open, you can reserve you can sign up to be the first to know once we open our doors. This is the pre-event survey:  7FSS5 Pre-event Survey

Have a great day!

Gary

The 80/20 of Ecommerce – July 2, 2021

China’s manufacturing softens in June amid export weakness

In a report by Business Hala, “China’s factory output and consumer spending have rebounded to above pre-pandemic levels but export demands are uneven as governments fight the outbreaks of the new coronavirus variant.” 

China’s manufacturing activity in June dipped slightly as export demand decreased and manufacturers dealt with supply constraints. The numbers of new export orders, production, and factory gate prices all decreased.

According to Business Hala “The index of production fell 0.8 points to 51.9 from May. New export orders fell by a similar margin to a one-year low of 48.1. This was offset by strong domestic demand, which raised the measure of new orders by 0.2 points to 51.5.”

India Sourcing Network launches on July 2nd, 2021

Are you thinking of sourcing away from China?  If so, one of the biggest alternatives is India.

But as you may know Alibaba doesn’t work so well when it comes to sourcing Indian suppliers.  

That’s why I’m super excited to learn that my friend Meghla Bhardwaj is launching India Sourcing Network

This is a site that includes everything you need to source Private Label products from India.  Meghla and her team promises:

  • Ways to find Indian Suppliers
  • Connect with Service providers
  • Learn more Information on sourcing PL products from India

To kick things off, you’re invited to join the India Sourcing Network launch party here

When: Fri Jul 2nd at 8pm EST (launch date: Friday Jul 2, 8PM ET) 

Where: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGokEpb39vU

Here’s a preview of what to products you can expect from India:

Upcoming webinar “Building customer and brand avatars with Ben Leonard” Friday, July 2nd, 4 PM EST

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TExhKMRuXs

You will learn:

  • How to build a brand avatar
  • Why do they need to do it?
  • Ultimately help you build a brand – important asset when selling 

Here are some things you may have missed from last week:

Have a great weekend!

Gary

PS: If you haven’t already, I’d love to hear your feedback about the next 7 Figure Seller Summit launching this Aug – pls fill out this 5 min survey to help me create the best online event to build, grow, and exit your ecom business.  7FSS5 Pre-event Survey

The 80/20 of Ecommerce – June 25, 2021

Amazon Prime Day 2021 breaks sales records even though less products were on “sale”

According to Adobe Analytics, “Overall, online spending during the two-day event surpassed $11 billion, a 6.1% increase compared to last year’s Prime Day held in October.”

However due to supply chain disruptions such as increased freight costs, less shipping capacity, and Amazon’s own restrictions on inventory for 3rd party sellers, many sellers were faced with less inventory than before.  As a result many sellers resisted offering deep discounts this Prime Day fearing running out of stock.

Prime Day sales were still robust however in what will be Jeff Bezos’ final Prime Day as CEO.  

How to Hire an Amazon VA Masterclass with Ana Santiago – Replay

One of the biggest mistakes sellers make as they grow and scale their business is hiring too late.

For established sellers that are running a profitable business, hiring VAs can be one of the best ways to unchain yourself from your business so you can work ON your business, not IN your business.  

I invited Ana Santiago from Outsource school to answer your top questions about How to Hire an Amazon VA. 

If you missed the live training, here’s the video replay where you will learn:

[10:22] How much money should I budget to hire them? 

[11:00] Do I need to hire them full-time? 

[16:02] Which country should you hire from and why? 

[19:16] How much to pay for VAs?

[21:10] How to build culture and relationships with VAs

[22:16] The importance of family

[23:40] The 3 types of VAs and which one you need

[26:02] What tasks should you hire VAs for? 

[28:52] Do you need to hire VAs full-time? 

[34:00] Stay away from decreasing hours

[34:30] How much does a VA cost

[36:02] The $1/hr VA

[39:10] How much should you spend on hiring VAs

[39:55] How do you start hiring – let’s do the math 

[42:45] What if VAs have multiple clients?

[46:32] How to reduce the risk of hiring a VA

[51:00] What VAs look for in clients 

[52:31] How to conduct interviews? Zoom vs Slack?

[57:40] After you hire them how do you manage them? 

As a special bonus, Ana offered a free consultation to help you and answer any questions you have about hiring an Amazon VA.

Book a call with her here: https://www.outsourceschool.com/consultation/

Spots are very limited. So book early to avoid disappointment.

Use coupon code and get 25% off Outsource School: 8020

Here are some things you may have missed from last week:

Have a great weekend!

Gary

PS: I am excited to announce that the award-winning 7 Figure Seller Summit will be coming back this August 16-20, 2021!  I am on a mission to create the best online event to help you build, scale and exit your Amazon and e-commerce business but I need your help.

Can you fill out this 5 min survey to share your challenges with your business? 

7FSS5 Pre-event Survey

The 80/20 of Ecommerce – June 18, 2021

Covid outbreaks in Chinese ports could cause global goods shortages 

There is a “Perfect Storm” brewing that is wreaking havoc on small business owners importing products from China.

According to The Guardian “an outbreak of Covid-19 in southern China has combined with the rapid reopening of the world economy and a shortage of shipping containers to cause a surge in transport costs that could fuel inflation and cause shortages of goods across the globe.” 

A number of ports in Guangdong province have been affected including Yantian, Shekou, and Nanshan as vessels are facing limitations in bookings and entering ports without prior reservations.  

It makes sense now to check with your forwarder and supplier if you have an upcoming shipment shipping from south China.  

Yantian Port in Shenzhen after a Covid outbreak in Guangdong. Photograph: Martin Pollard/Reuters

When Will Amazon Dethrone Walmart as the Revenue King?

Walmart has held the top spot again in revenue generation among publicly traded companies for about 20 years. The company generated about $560 billion in annual sales in fiscal 2021. The pandemic gave a huge boost to Walmart sales which nearly grew over 7% over the past year. 

While Amazon climbed through the ranks and reached the unofficial 2nd spot last year. But even though Amazon’s sales of $386 billion were well behind Walmart’s total, Amazon is growing much faster and could overcome Walmart’s sales sooner than we might think.

According to NASDAQ “Walmart has been in launch mode recently, particularly focused on its e-commerce initiative Walmart+, the company’s new consumer subscription program to challenge Amazon Prime. But Walmart’s digital sales only grew 37% in fiscal 2022’s first quarter (ended April 30), which doesn’t quite keep pace with Amazon’s sales growth over the same time period.”

To compare, if Walmart’s latest revenue total stays flat for the next year and grows 3% in fiscal 2023 (which effectively represents calendar 2022 sales), it would take in about $577 billion. That means even at the projected lows, Amazon should become the largest U.S. company by revenue by the end of 2022.

Here are some things you may have missed from last week:

Have a great weekend!

Gary

The 80/20 of Ecommerce – June 11, 2021

US ecommerce forecast revised upward, 18% growth expected in 2021 – Apparel and Home furnishings lead the way

The ecommerce growth trend is doing even better than expected so far in 2021. 

eMarketer has revised their 2021 ecommerce sales forecast up to 17.9% from a previous 13.7%. 

Reasons include the government stimulus at the start of the year as well as robust spending as the overall economy starts to reopen from the lockdowns during the pandemic.

A couple of retail high risers include Apparel which is forecast to grow by 28.7% and Home furnishings at 11.4%. 

Biden creates a supply chain “strike force” with sights set on China

According to Reuters, the US has created a “supply chain strike force… looking for specific violations that contributed to a hollowing out of supply chains that could be addressed with tariffs or other remedies, including toward China.”

The focus however is on products deemed critical to national security and safety including “neodymium magnets, semiconductors, transportation, as well as agriculture and food.”

The goal is to reduce US supply chain bottlenecks and over reliance on foreign supply chains which can be risky as seen during the pandemic.  

Biden also has stated that “China will not surpass the US as a global leader on his watch” so we shall see how this trade war pans out in the next 4 years.  

REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

Senate passes $250 billion bipartisan tech and manufacturing bill aimed at countering China

Last Tuesday, the Senate passed one of the largest industrial bills in U.S. history in a bipartisan effort to ensure the U.S. remains competitive with China as one of the globe’s technological powerhouses.

According to CNBC “The bill, which passed the chamber 68-32, commits roughly $250 billion in funding for scientific research, subsidies for chipmakers and robot makers, and an overhaul of the National Science Foundation.”

The bill paves the way for billions in new and replacement funding to spur the creation of new technology hubs across the United States, Additional investment in semiconductor research and manufacturing, and stand up a technology directorate at the National Science Foundation. There’s also a directive to the Commerce Department to create a new supply chain resiliency and crisis response program. New reporting requirements, and a response and recovery fund for local governments responding to cyber crises.

In short, this bill is about countering China by focusing on U.S. competitiveness. 

Here are some things you may have missed from last week:

The 80/20 of Ecommerce – June 4, 2021

Q1 2021, 55% of products sold on Amazon were marketplace sellers’ items. 

3rd party Amazon sellers continue to sell more as they now account for 55% of all products sold on Amazon.  

According to data from Amazon.com you can see a steady growth in the percentage or products sold on Amazon by 3rd party sellers.  

Several years ago, Jeff Bezos was quoted as saying that 3rd party sellers were “kicking our butt” but he doesn’t seem to mind as this is reducing the inventory risk that Amazon needs to take on.  It also gives Amazon valuable opportunities to capitalize on the advertising front (e.g Amazon PPC).  

And it gives Amazon valuable data in what products are selling well so they can focus on the high potential products in the while label line Amazon Basics.  

The Amazon FBA train continues to chug along!

Live Masterclass: Amazon Europe Expansion Post Brexit in 2021

Jérôme de Guigné, the Founder and Managing Director of e-Comas. Making eCommerce simple. He is an Amazon expert with 20 years of experience in brand management and distribution, and an inside-out knowledge of how Amazon works.

In this 60-min training, you will learn:

[3:00] Europe is bigger than US market

[5:01] Understanding Europe

[8:00] Nav Europe is complex

[12:35] The Fulfillment Options

[13:30] Fulfillment options

[16:47] VAT

[32:50] Our Recommendation

Book a call with E-Comas to get more help on Amazon EU expansion. www.e-comas.com/calendar

Exciting news. The next 7 Figure Seller Summit will launch August 16th to 20th. More details coming soon.

I really want to make this the best summit so far and we want to make it as valuable to you as possible. That’s why I’d love to get your feedback. If you can fill this short survey, it would really help my team and I create the best event we can to help you with your Amazon and Ecom business! https://forms.gle/HouPfqTY5du7KRsv8

Here are some things you may have missed from last week:

The 80/20 of Ecommerce – May 28, 2021

Amazon Prime Day 2021 expected to be June 21 and 22

According to a report by Bloomberg, “Amazon.com’s Prime Day sale will be held June 21 and 22”.  

Last year Prime Day was moved to October due to COVID, but this year it has returned to its regular summer date. 

If you’re a seller, expect A LOT of promotional opportunities to slash prices (which may not necessarily be a good thing).  And I also expect a lot of competition between sellers.  

Mark your calendars!

Source: Amazon.com

India COVID Charity Fundraiser continues

As Covid has left the nation of India in grief, my friends Meghla, Margaret & Kevin from India Sourcing Network hosted a virtual “Charity Singathon” in collaboration with Deepalaya, a non-profit organization in Delhi. The event is to help raise funds to help underprivileged families affected by COVID in India.

They have already raised over $9,000 and have a goal of $20k to help needy families and children purchase food and sanitation kits.  

If you can contribute anything at all it would be a great help. 100% of the proceeds will go directly to the charity and families in need. 

Stay safe and Thank you!

Donate now.

Live Training on 3 Ways to Deploy Capital to Scale your Ecommerce Business

Tomo Matsuo is the President of Yardline Capital, a provider of growth capital, business tools, and competitive insights for sellers on Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Shopify and more. 

In this 60-min training, you will learn:

[8:55] Finding the optimal capital allocation among different opportunities

[11:00] The Growth Capital Math

[17:20] Tips for sellers for managing cash flows to ensure optimal inventory levels

[19:05] Beware having too much capital as you also have to take on too much risk

[20:35] Cash flow management and supply chain

[22:55] Storing extra inventory in 3PLs vs shipping directly from the manufacturer

[25:42] IPI score is like your credit score; the better the score, the beter the sellers

[32:18] Recommendations in deploying capital into marketing

[38:20] Expanding horizontally from Amazon

[48:09] Hiring people once you get to a certain scale

Here are some things you may have missed from last week:

The 80/20 of Ecommerce – May 21, 2021

Google partners with Shopify on online shopping expansion

Google and Shopify are joining forces in the world of ecommerce. 

According to Techcrunch, “Google today announced it’s partnering with Shopify, giving the e-commerce platform’s more than 1.7 million merchants the ability to reach consumers through Google Search and its other services. The integration will allow merchants to sign up in just a few clicks to have their products appear across Google’s 1 billion “shopping journeys” that take place every day through Search, Maps, Images, Lens and YouTube”

They didn’t reveal the details of the partnership, but we do know that Google and Shopify are tightening the competition against Amazon in the e-commerce and advertising markets.

Investors were happy with the Shopify news and shortly after Google’s announcement, the stock grew 3.52%.

Amazon’s ads business is generating nearly $7 billion a quarter, and growth is accelerating (CNBC)

Amazon sellers know that to be successful you have to “Pay to Play” in the Amazon Advertising or “PPC” world.  

This was evident as Amazon “smashed” analysts’ expectation as they posted that “Amazon’s “Other” unit, which is primarily made up of advertising but also includes sales related to other service offerings, grew revenue 77% year over year to more than $6.9 billion”.

Igor Golovniov | SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images

“The digital advertising hot streak aided by stay-at-home trends has evidently lasted into the first quarter as travel starts to return and e-commerce spend persists, with companies such as Facebook and Alphabet seeing blowout results for their ads businesses.”

India Charity Singathon for underprivileged families affected by COVID in India 

As you may have heard India is suffering from the effects of a triple mutant strain of COVID-19 and this is affecting the manufacturing and supply chain not to mention the lives of many many people.

My good friends Meghla, Margaret & Kevin from India Sourcing Network are organizing an 8-hour live & virtual “Charity Singathon” to help raise funds to help underprivileged families affected by COVID in India.  

They are partnering with Deepalaya, a non-profit organization in Delhi.

Over 15 singers from the US, Australia, UK, India, Singapore, and The Philippines will be performing at the event to support the families affected by COVID in India.

I’d love to invite you to join me in supporting this cause if you can by viewing and sharing this Charity Singathon.

Fri, May 21, 8 pm EST

Press “Going” on the event link to receive a notification when the Singathon is live: https://www.facebook.com/events/949460862554207/ 

And if you can, please consider making a donation to this charity – 100% of the funds are going to the charity organization to help the children and families affected by the pandemic.  

Here’s where you can donate to contribute to the cause: https://fundraisers.giveindia.org/projects/deepalayas-mission-food-and-sanitisation-kits-for-the-needy 

How to Boost your Amazon FBA Profits and Cash Flow so you Can Maximize your Exit (Replay)

Recently, I invited Don Henig, Kelliane Fedio, and Jeremy Bell for a LIVE ASK ME ANYTHING Session with Don, Kelliane, and Jeremy, where they answered questions on increasing your Amazon’s business profitability, cash flow, and exiting it for the maximum price. 

In this 60-min AMA session, you will learn:

  • How to prepare your Amazon business for an Amazing exit
    • What it takes to grow your business
    • How to exit at your peak to maximize valuation
  • What makes a great Amazon business for acquisition
    • How to make your business irresistible to acquirors
    • What drives the valuation / multiple up
    • How to maintain adequate levels of inventory prior and after sale
  • When is the right time to sell your Amazon business
    • Why 2021 is a great year to sell your Amazon business
  • Why it’s so important to plan your Amazon business exit
    • The 3 things that you must do today to plan/maximize your exit  
    • Common mistakes that will cost you big

Here are some things you may have missed from last week:

The 80/20 of Ecommerce – May 14, 2021

I’m taking a “spring break” with my family this week so it will be a short newsletter.

Here’s what I’m reading:

Amazon Unbound: Jeff Bezos and the Invention of a Global Empire by Brad Stone

Just released this week is the latest biography on Jeff Bezos and how he grew Amazon from an online bookstore to an ecommerce juggernaut it is today.

If you’re selling products on Amazon it makes to know the story behind how the marketplace was built and how the founder built and scaled it to over a trillion dollars.  

“In Amazon Unbound, Brad Stone presents a deeply reported, vividly drawn portrait of how a retail upstart became one of the most powerful and feared entities in the global economy. Stone also probes the evolution of Bezos himself—who started as a geeky technologist totally devoted to building Amazon, but who transformed to become a fit, disciplined billionaire with global ambitions; who ruled Amazon with an iron fist, even as he found his personal life splashed over the tabloids.”

Here are some things you may have missed from last week:

The 80/20 of Ecommerce – May 7, 2021

India manufacturing is hurting from the recent Covid spikes

According to my personal anecdotal evidence, many businesses and manufacturers in India are hurting due to the recent Covid 19 spikes hitting the country of nearly 1.2 billion people.  

One sourcing agent I spoke to this week told me that 70% of the manufacturers he works with in India are closed down.  This means that it’s causing a ripple effect if you’re sourcing product from India in two ways.  

First expect longer delivery times.  Factories are focused on fulfilling orders they already have on hand rather than looking to take on new orders which they may not be able to handle due to lack of manpower and raw materials.

Second – you may expect higher prices.  For example certain metals such as copper have seen raw materials price double in the recent months.  Besides the global spike in copper prices, another factor is the lack of industrial oxygen available to manufacturers who use this to treat the metal.  Currently there is a lack of oxygen available to hospitals so all of the supply has been shifted towards medical needs.

When will things return to pre-Covid levels?  It remains to be seen.  Optimists have said that they expect things to get back on track in June or July.  We will see. 

Shopify rides online shopping wave to crush profit, revenue estimates

In ecommerce, Amazon may be king, but a rising tide lifts all boats.  

Shopify which is a popular platform to create your own ecommerce website “emerged as a pandemic winner with revenue soaring 86% last year from 2019 and shares nearly doubling to make it Canada’s most valuable firm” according to U.S News and World Report. 

Ygal Arounian said, “Shopify saw real strength again during the (1st) quarter, and with total volume growth on the platform accelerating from 4Q, it’s clear their role in the retail ecosystem continues to get stronger,”.

5 Game-Changing Opportunities with Amazon PPC with Ritu Java (Replay)

Many of you have told me that managing and running profitable Amazon PPC campaigns is your #1 challenge.

That’s why I invited Ritu Java who helps 6, 7, and 8 Figure Amazon sellers make more money by creating and optimizing their Amazon PPC Campaigns to give you a masterclass on the 5 Game-Changing Opportunities with Amazon PPC in 2021. 

In this 63 min training you will learn:

[19:48​] 2 Easiest PPC campaigns to run first 

[21:50​] Biggest Mistake sellers make: less is better 

[23:38​] Video ads have CTR 4x to 5x (2%)  more than regular ad (0.5%)

[28:47​] How You can accelerate the algorithms association

[29:38​] When I launch a new product, which ad type should I run 

[30:36​] Ritu’s PPC Launch recommendation w/ 20-30 campaigns 

[33:41​] One of the Most important Data points: Unit session percentage – AKA Conversion Rate 

[37:24​] Brand Analytics – data Amazon gives brands about all the KWs

[38:30​] Common mistake – put too many strings in searches 

[41:50​] Do we stop PPC if there are enough Organic sales? 

[47:15​] Do we target long-tail keywords or highly competitive main keywords? 

[49:35​] How long to run auto campaigns for? 

If you’d like to learn more about PPC, Ritu will offer a LIVE 3 week PPC workshop on May 12, 19, and 26th hosted by yours truly.

  • Live 3-Week PPC Workshop and Q&A Plus Replay with Ritu Java
  • May 12, 19 and 26, 9PM EST (2 hours x 3 sessions)
  • Deadline: Tues, May 11th, 11:59PM PST

You will learn:

Day 1: Campaign Fundamentals

Amazon ad types

Setting up an Auto campaign

Deep dive into match types – Broad, phrase, exact match

Bids and budgets – How much to bid and how to budget

Day 2: Campaign Management

Learn efficient ways of designing your campaigns

Setting up a manual campaign

Negative keywords

Fundamentals of Bid Management

Day 3: Troubleshooting the PPC Funnel

Key performance indicators for PPC

Ad type diversification:

  • Product Targeting Ads
  • Category Targeting Ads
  • Sponsored Brands
  • Sponsored Display
  • Video in Search – Understand why this is currently the most effective ad type on Amazon

Join here: https://www.8020sourcing.com/ppc-workshop/