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Former Amazonians Share Planning Tips and 2018 Trends

Discover new Amazon best practices and strategic business tools to implement for 2018, straight from two former Amazonians Brad Moss and Tim Hughes. By IT January 18, 2018
Former Amazonians Share Planning Tips and 2018 Trends

With the first month of Q1 already almost under our belts, it’s crunchtime for third-party sellers to get on board with 2018 Amazon trends.

To help you navigate the remainder of the year seamlessly and capitalize on tactics that will position your Amazon business for success, Feedvisor teamed up with ex-Amazonians Brad Moss and Tim Hughes of Product Labs for a webinar. In this post, you’ll discover new Amazon best practices and strategic business tools to implement for 2018.

Strategic Business Planning for 2018

1. Set Goals

Goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. As a seller, you should identify your current size and analyze how much profit is coming from each product that you have inside Amazon. Next, look at the size of the market and opportunity as a whole in order to understand what the top competitors in that specific segment are doing and to make sure the goals (including growth rate and potential) you set are realistic.

Lastly, the goals need to excite and engage you if you want them to translate into tangible results such as hitting thresholds in a new product category or line extension and increasing revenue, profit margins, and number of orders.

2. Set KPIs

In order to set strategic key performance indicators, Tim and Brad suggest that you:  

  • Isolate control points (the stages of your selling process that you have control over)
  • Understand the metrics that you should be tracking (most importantly sales, inventory levels, and customer satisfaction feedback)
  • Take actions and get people to track hiring and plan completion dates. Additional metrics to track include average price point, both organic and paid page views, conversion rate, FBA fees, and advertising spend.

3. Execute

Before acting on your goals and KPIs, it’s important for you to put together a calendar that includes the timing of all major selling events such as Prime Day, Black Friday, and any holidays that historically have high-volume sales for your categories. After that, you should detail out control mechanisms such as pricing, page views and conversions.

Then, compile a list of resources that are needed to achieve your goals such as a customer success person, finance bookkeeper, photographer, etc. Deadlines are next. Don’t let these sneak up on you! Put them all in one place so that you can refer to them throughout the year. Lastly, brainstorm and compile “plan B’s” for any issues that may arise (additional product lines, alternative marketing avenues, etc.).

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Key 2018 Amazon Trends and Behaviors

Seller Tools

The top five Amazon tools that Brad and Tim recommend that sellers take advantage of in 2018 are:

  • Brand controls: In order to gain brand control, you must prove ownership of the brand on the brand registry. The goal of brand control is to eliminate counterfeit product and protect your registered trademarks.
  • Coupons: Created in Seller Central, coupons are now available to 3P sellers. They get more visibility than Promotions, they have a more stand-out look and feel compared to vendor coupons, and you can target them so that they are only visible to Amazon shoppers who have purchased certain ASINs, whether it’s yours or your competitor’s.
  • Video: Video content is more dynamic and attention-grabbing for consumers during their shopping experience and with the platform, sellers can add videos to product pages to stand out and help improve conversion rates.
  • Headline ads: In order have access to headline ads, sellers need brand control of the items. The ads appear across the top of the SERP, catching buyers’ attention at the beginning of their journey.
  • Hazmat exceptions: This is a new program that allows certain sellers to sell hazmat products. In order to enter the pilot hazmat program, sellers need to contact Amazon to see if they qualify to enter the program.

Amazon Behavior

Amazon’s brand proliferation continues as they now own more than 35 private label brands. They are the most active in the clothing, electronics, baby, jewelry, and food and beverage categories. With the launch of Amazon marketplaces in Brazil and Australia in Q4 of 2017, it is clear that they are “full-speed ahead” toward global eCommerce marketplace control.

To listen to the full Amazon Trends 2018: Get Your Game Plan On webinar, click on the link below.

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