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Meeting Your Chinese Suppliers for the First Time — Top 5 Tips to Prepare Before Your Visit

Photo credit: uberof202 via VisualHunt / CC BY-SA

 As an Amazon seller, it’s vital to build and develop a strong relationship with your Chinese supplier. It can be a daunting prospect meeting your supplier face-to-face for the first time.
 
For those of you that are coming to China and meeting your suppliers for the first time we want to get you prepared. Between networking and attending trade-shows, you should set some time away for meeting your supplier.
 
The main reason to meet your supplier in person is to build “guanxi“. Guanxi is the personal relationship which is the foundation for business in China.
 
By spending time with your supplier, you build trust. That trust will help you solid foundation for business going forward.
We spoke with Christian Potts from Tao Consulting with 5 years experience helping customers source products in China. Christian has first hand knowledge of visiting factories, meeting suppliers and deep understanding of Chinese culture.
By doing this, we’ve come up with a list of the top 5 tips to prepare when making your first visit to China.

 

1. Build a Relationship Outside of Business

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This Week in AMZ #14: Walmart Fires Back Again, Hackers Target 3rd Party Sellers, Survey Reveals What Teens Think About Amazon and More

Photo credit: JeepersMedia via Visualhunt / CC BY

Walmart Rolls Out New Discount Program

Walmart is increasingly challenging Amazon. From next week, it plans to offer discounts on around 10,000 online-only items. But there’s a catch: These items won’t be shipped.

Instead, customers will have to pick them up at one of the Walmart stores. This is how the company can offer the discounts in the first place.

The move is another example of Walmart’s recent initiatives to compete with Amazon. Earlier this year, Walmart announced its free 2-day shipping on all orders over $35. This was a response meant to rival Amazon’s Prime membership, which currently costs $99 per year.

Should you be concerned as an Amazon seller? Probably not. But as Walmart tries to drive more visitors online, it will become a more attractive marketplace for sellers looking to diversify.

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What Does the Amazon Influencer Program Mean For Sellers?

Influencer marketing plays an increasingly integral part of brands pushing their products online. A recent survey revealed that 84% of marketers plan on executing at least one influencer marketing campaign during the next 12 months.
 
Social media influencers can generate large amounts of income endorsing products. This happens through their Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat or YouTube accounts.
 
And now Amazon, with its recently released Amazon Influencer Program, gets in on the act.

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This Week in AMZ #13: Amazon Targeting Influencers, Introduces Amazon Cash, and the Case for More Verified Sellers

Amazon Tests Its Own Social Media Influencer Program

Social media influencers often promote products they like to their network. It’s a powerful symbiotic relationship that has been expanded by platforms such as FameBit.

Now Amazon aims to get in on this. Last week, Amazon initiated a beta test of its own influencer program. It will offer influencers commission on products, but it’s not open to the public. This separates it from Amazon Affiliates — its exclusivity.

Anyone can submit an application to be an Amazon Influencer. But only influencers with large followers will be accepted according to Amazon’s program page.

Product selection seems to be entirely up to the influencers. As TechCrunch describes:

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BREAKING NEWS: Amazon Updates Buyer-Seller Messaging System

Sellers are aware of the difficulties of getting feedback and reviews. Especially since last fall, when Amazon banned incentivized reviews.

Recently, Amazon made yet another change. Buyers can now opt out of seller feedback. 

This could affect sellers looking to generate reviews by sending out messages to buyers after they purchase.

More and more sellers have been receiving emails like this from Amazon. See below:

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Top 3 Seller Events to Attend in April (& Ticket Discounts!)

Are you a seller on Amazon and could benefit from meeting people to help catapult your business to the next level?

Could connections with manufacturers or product sourcers help you improve your business?

Then you want to be sure to attend at least one of the 3 top seller Amazon events happening this April.

In our last post about the Canton Fair, we emphasized preparation. To help you maximize your trip we’ve listed only the best Amazon seller events happening this April!

This is the perfect opportunity to learn from successful sellers and industry experts. People who have already navigated the seller’s process can give you helpful tips and advice. Here, you can see what’s working and what isn’t in today’s Amazon Selling World.

Not to mention the extensive networking and opportunities to share ideas you’ll have during these events.

Here are the top 3 events you should consider attending during your Hong Kong and China visit.

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This Week in AMZ #11: Amazon Acquires Souq, But Holds Off on SE Asia

Photo credit: TechCrunch

Amazon Acquires Middle East Ecommerce Giant Souq for $650 Million

Amazon continues to conquer the globe. Now, it appears to be setting its sights on the Middle East. TechCrunch reports that the company is about to acquire Souq.

The price-tag for the biggest regional ecommerce player? $650 million.

Amazon has never had business operations in the Middle East. This acquisition could allow it to hit the ground running in a market valued at $4.9 billion.

How this affects potential opportunities in the region is too early to tell. But it can open potential options for sellers looking to expand to Australia, Singapore, and now the Middle East down the road.

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Branding: How to Make Your Products Stand Out With Private Labeling

Wherever you go, there are three icons that everyone knows: Jesus Christ, Pele and Coca-Cola.”
— Pele

How did Coca-Cola reach such a status to be compared to Jesus Christ, a religious figure? (Or Pele, for that matter.)

The taste?

Maybe.

But most would agree it’s more than that. It’s the brand. It’s what Coca-Cola represents.

At its core, a BRAND reflects how the consumer feels when they discover, use or think about your product. This includes names, logos and packaging. Brands represent promises, perceptions and expectations.

According to eCommerceFuel’s 2017 State of the Merchant Report:   

*”Companies that sell their own products (labeled below as “Private Label” or “Manufacturing”) are growing about 50% faster than those that don’t.”*

While sellers all approach their businesses differently — deciding what to sell, sourcing suppliers, manufacturing and product launches, — many get stuck when it comes to private labeling and creating a brand.

Yet, as we can see, clear branding is becoming more important in order to succeed at selling on Amazon in today’s tough market.

In this article, we have created a basic guide to branding your company and products as a private label seller.

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This Week in AMZ #10: Air Freight for Chinese Sellers & Amazon Prime Now Includes Alcohol

Amazon Plans to Launch Air Freight Service for Chinese Sellers

Amazon already helps sellers handle shipments by land and sea. Soon it will add air to that list. It’s planning to offer sellers in China the ability to fly their goods internationally as air cargo.

For Chinese sellers, this will smoothen the process. It will also increase competition for international based sellers.

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