Q: Tell us why a data driven approach works best on e-commerce sites such as Amazon and Walmart.com? Why might the passion approach not work on Amazon? Other platforms like Etsy are more creative and smaller scale.
A: A data-driven approach is important because there are a wide variety of people who shop on these platforms. Sellers just can’t rely on their own intuition of what would sell and how to sell a product, they have to rely on the data in order to stand out against millions of other products.
Being passionate about a product on Amazon means nothing. The product might be something they didn’t even know existed before and they have to make themselves passionate about it, or else they’re not going to be successful. Passion is still involved in it, but it is not the first part. To be a blogger or influencer you have to start with a passion, but it’s the opposite on Amazon and Walmart, and other online marketplaces.
Q: What are the top considerations entrepreneurs miss when building their business?
A: One of the top considerations that entrepreneurs miss when building their business is just thinking about their own preferences, their own passion, and not thinking about the end-user. Sellers focus too much on one thing, but it’s a complete balancing act that you have to be able to master when building a business.
Q: What data points are most valuable when determining what to sell? Include any helpful points from the Seasonality report (i.e. what are people searching for and when… how does this help sellers to build their online storefront?)
A: Sellers have to balance knowledge of their website’s algorithm. The SEO algorithm is super important with how it places products in search results and balances with customer behavior and demand. When looking for a product to sell, sellers would want to look at estimated sales existing on Amazon. When starting a product research from the keyword level, sellers would want to look into search volume or the estimated number of times that a certain keyword is searched. With either of these, it’s important to look at the seasonal and the historical data.
Q: Do you see one generation of online sellers (i.e. Gen Z, Millennials) using data to build their brand more than others? I.e. Using H10 user data, can we say that younger generations focus on industry insights to build their business?
A: There isn’t one generation of online sellers using data, this is something that is universal. I’ve talked to sellers from seven years old to seventy who use Helium 10 Cerebro and they do the exact same thing. If sellers are serious about selling online, they have to be looking at these data points no matter their age.
There is no data that proves the younger generation focuses on industry insights to build their business. Regardless of age or location, we have customers all over the world and all different age groups and nationalities, that are all using the same data-driven decisions.
Q: How important is product research to business success?
A: Product research is important to business success. There are some people who build their brands off of Amazon first and maybe product research, or there is no product research.
Some sellers who don’t do product research are successful on Amazon and some aren’t, product research is not a part of everyone’s Amazon journey. For established brands, they have brand recognition so they could most likely enter a niche that’s saturated where a brand new seller without brand recognition is less likely to succeed.
Q. How does data correlate to customer satisfaction/loyalty? How do you build customer loyalty? Where in the business building process do you need to think about your customer? When is it necessary to prioritize your goals and the business?
A: The easiest way to know about customer satisfaction and loyalty is by looking at the reviews, the number of reviews and quality of the reviews. To be successful on Amazon, sometimes sellers have to have almost at least 4.5 stars out of five stars.
Customer loyalty in the industry is called continuity which is very important for these kinds of markets because it’s very competitive. For Amazon, they call it subscribe and save. The reason that sellers can still survive is because they get people into the continuity and then they pay upfront for this customer. That customer will then enroll and subscribe and save where they can get the product once a month or once every two months. They are not paying to acquire that customer anymore because those are the most loyal customers.
Sellers need to be thinking about the customer at the very beginning, even before they have a product. This is a part of the product development. When developing a product, sellers have to already have their customer in mind, analyze competitor reviews and see what their customers like and don’t like about competitor’s products by checking the reviews, and seeing what the commonality is about the product.
It’s necessary to prioritize goals for the business at the very beginning. Sellers have to set their expectations which are also data-driven. The ongoing theme is that it’s all data-driven decisions, and regardless if sellers are in the product research, the product development, the keyword research, listing optimization, or feature analytics and operations, everything should be based on the data which will give you the best chance of success.
Bradley Sutton is Helium 10’s Chief Ecommerce Strategist.