Our “Ask the Ecomm Expert” series kicks off with the founder and CEO of Buy Box Experts and co-founder of the PROSPER show Joseph Hansen. He’s an Amazon ecommerce expert you can definitely learn from!
And we’re live! Well…we were. And we will be, on a regular basis, for our new ecommerce interview series “Ask the Expert.” These Facebook Live videos will feature our own Nich Weinheimer, Kenshoo VP of Ecommerce, as he interviews the brightest minds in the ecommerce biz. Nich knows the key players and thought leaders in this space. He’ll bring you lively conversations with Amazon ecommerce experts at leading brands and agencies, as well as a few surprises.
To kick off this series, we’ve got a short and snappy version of our “Five Questions With” format featuring Buy Box Experts founder and CEO Joseph Hansen. Joseph is a seasoned entrepreneur, strategic advisor, author, speaker, investor, and definitely an Amazon ecommerce expert. Since 2008, he has founded and sold five companies. In 2013, Hansen founded Buy Box Experts, a consultancy supporting brands on Amazon. He also co-founded the PROSPER show, the largest continuing education conference for established Amazon sellers.
Be sure to watch their full conversation to get all of the tips and advice they covered.
5 questions with Amazon ecommerce expert Joseph Hansen
1. How do you plan and forecast for major events like Prime Day or the Cyber 5?
There are a lot of different tools for forecasting that plug into the Amazon API. Some can forecast for seasonality and other factors, but most don’t account for the share of the buy box that you typically own or the increasing level of competition in advertising. Essentially, some brands hope to get the organic lift that these events bring and scale back on advertising but we recommend the opposite—you need to advertise aggressively during these times or you could find yourself overstocked.
2. How do we plan ahead and think of these events more as “seasons?”
You need to forecast for both increased inventory demand and increased budget allocation to support advertising and promotions. You also have to anticipate when the biggest lift will come. For example, there’s a huge lift in the first 15 days of December, where the sales volume is as high or higher than the Cyber 5 and it’s less competitive. And with Prime Day, there’s a huge halo effect on July and August sales. If you’re able to advertise and promote effectively and you stay stock, you’ll be able to benefit from these upticks.
3. Q1 can sometimes be a reset period for brands. Are brands missing out by planning this way?
If your brand relies on production in China, you really have to account for Chinese New Year when planning your inventory management. You need to stock inventory by mid October to get you through the holidays and into early January. And then plan to have more inventory arrive in early January to get you through Chinese New Year. If you run out of stock during those times, it can be hard to regain the momentum you previously had.
4. There are a lot of advancements in the ecommerce advertising space. As an Amazon ecommerce expert, what do you see as more of a distraction for clients and what do you think is most helpful in this area?
While you have options like general display ads and retargeting off of Amazon back onto Amazon now, most brands are not fully utilizing bottom funnel ad types like Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands. They aren’t allocating enough budget here yet they’re allocating budget to some higher funnel tactics that yield a lower return. But Amazon is innovating and it’s now a viable advertising platform—the third largest, and it feels like that happened almost overnight! But Amazon has better data than you can find anywhere else because you can get data on what a customer actually buys and that’s much more valuable than just what they’re interested in.
5. How can brands make sure they have the data and measurement tools needed to make the best advertising decisions like an Amazon ecommerce expert?
While we’re more armed than we used to be, Amazon’s advertising data is based upon last touch attribution. So all of your top funnel efforts aren’t factored in—despite the fact that those activities help drive awareness of your product. Only the last touchpoint that drove the sale gets the credit. We use Kenshoo for our clients which helps us better understand our top and mid funnel spend and how it impacts bottom funnel clicks and cost.
Check out the full video of Nich and Joseph’s conversation for even more helpful insights. And stay tuned for more from this series so that you too can become an Amazon ecommerce expert.