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The Definitive Canton Fair Survival Guide

The AMZ Tracker team recently made a big move.  A move to the heart of the action — Shenzhen, also known as the Silicon Valley of Hardware.

With our new home base, we’ll be able to give sellers unique insights and connections for doing business in China.

We’ll be bringing you content from experts here in ground as well updates and news from all things Amazon. Our first post will spotlight the upcoming Canton Fair in Guangzhou.

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This Week in AMZ #8: Prime Launches in Mexico and Jack Ma’s Take on Counterfeiters

Jack Ma Calls for Stricter Penalties For Counterfeiters

http://www.businessinsider.com/alibaba-founder-jack-ma-calls-for-stricter-penalties-for-fake-items-2017-3

Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, recently called for stricter penalties for people selling counterfeit goods. Ma encouraged the Chinese government to imprison counterfeiters one week per every fake item they sell.

According to Business Insider, He blames soft penalties and lax law enforcement for the surge in fake items across China. This is a 180° from his previous position that counterfeits are often better quality than genuine items.

In the short term, this won’t affect sellers. But if this becomes a growing sentiment, it might make counterfeiting more difficult and help protect brands in the future.

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Amazon Copywriting Tips to Increase Conversions

If you want to succeed on Amazon, you must have a listing that squeezes every possible conversion out of the traffic Amazon sends your way. This is why Amazon copywriting is so important.

Fortunately for you, many Amazon sellers neglect copywriting, giving you a major advantage if you follow the simple steps outlined in this article. Here is a run down of some copywriting tactics which will increase conversions and boost profits.

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This Week in AMZ 8: New Amazon Commissions, Development in the war on Scammers, & More

Amazon Announces Changes to Associates Program

http://www.theverge.com/2017/2/28/14755276/amazon-affiliate-rate-changes-associate-network-fees

Photo credit: Images_of_Money via Visualhunt.com / CC BY

After weeks of rumors, Amazon finally announced big changes to its affiliate program that will significantly cut compensation for high-volume affiliates.

The new fee structure offers different flat-rate commissions based on product category but does away with the former variable rate structure that tied commission rates to sales, which previously allowed high-volume sellers to make upwards of 8% in most categories.

Small-scale members of the associates program may make a few dollars more with the new rates, but total payouts from Amazon are certain to decline.

Affiliates have long been used as a reliable help to bolster traffic for Amazon. It will be interesting to see whether the fee structure will have an impact on Amazon’s traffic and growth, since affiliates are less incentivized to push Amazon’s products. Sellers who rely on affiliates may need to pay more as a result.

The new rates can be found here: https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/help/operating/compare

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How to Plan Your Diversification Strategy Outside of Amazon

Photo credit: UnitedSoybeanBoard via Visual hunt / CC BY

You know how people tell you not to put all your eggs in one basket?

Learning to diversify your FBA business outside of Amazon is a hot trend at the moment. With Amazon’s recent TOS changes and even more recent commission changes — smart sellers are looking to build redundancy into their biz.

In eCommerceFuel’s recent State of the Merchant survey – 70% of respondents listed their storefront as their biggest sales channel.

For that group, Amazon made up only 6.2% of their total revenue.

And 20% of respondents claimed that Amazon made up 76% of their revenue.

For most sellers, Amazon is a great source of revenue but there’s something to be said about safeguarding your business by making sure you don’t rely on a single sales platform.

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This Week in AMZ #7: Walmart vs Amazon, Adapting Your Listing For Online, the Top 10 Common Seller Pitfalls & More

Photo credit: JeepersMedia via Visualhunt / CC BY

Walmart Continues to Grow, and Amazon Responds

http://www.seattletimes.com/business/wal-mart-pushing-back-against-amazon-with-online-sales-surge/

Walmart has made no secret about its efforts to catch up to Amazon in the e-commerce space, and its recent financial reports suggest that these moves are paying off.

Coming off the heels of two consecutive quarters of double-digit growth, Walmart’s online sales grew 29% in Q4 last year. And after its recent announcement of free two-day shipping on most orders of at least $35, the company is hoping they’ll make even more headway in 2017.

In case you didn’t think Amazon was paying attention, they’re now matching Walmaart by offering free shipping on orders of at least $35. This is a step lower than their old minimum of $49, but free two-day shipping will still only be available for Prime members..

Consumers are the obvious beneficiaries of this competition, but will third-party sellers start getting any perks? It’ll be interesting to see if Walmart will start making an effort to attract more sellers (although a bigger market share is a nice start!).

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This Week in AMZ #6

Photo credit: MarkGregory007 via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Amazon Estimated to Have 65 Million Prime Users

http://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-gives-clue-number-of-prime-users-2017-2

Amazon has historically shared as few details as possible regarding the size of its Prime member base, but numbers released in a recent financial report have shed some light on how massive the program has become.

Based on the metrics in the report, an analyst from Morgan Stanley estimates the total number of Prime members worldwide to be 65 million.

Morgan Stanley has also recently estimated that 40% of Prime members spend $1000+ a year on Amazon and spend on average 4.6x more than non-Prime users. These numbers spell out a pretty clear benefit to making your products Prime-eligible!

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How to Price Your Product Higher Without Sacrificing Sales

Photo credit: Allspire via VisualHunt / CC BY-SA

On its surface, setting a price for your Amazon product seems like a relatively straightforward decision. Just look up your competitors’ prices, undercut them by a few cents, and you’re all set, right?

But once you start seeking out advanced pricing strategies, you’ll find a near-endless list of tactics that promise to help you find the one “perfect price” to dominate your competition.

This advice can range from the overly-complicated (“combine this statistical regression with these Excel pivot tables to calculate optimal price as a function of expected sales!”) to the trivial (“research shows that prices that end in .97 convert 2% better than prices that end in .99!”) to the downright scammy (“put in an MSRP that’s much higher than the actual price of your product. Customers will think they’re getting a massive deal!”)

But at AMZ Tracker, we advocate playing the long game over trying to optimize for short-term sales. You don’t want the success of your business to hinge on how long a tactic works before other people catch on — you want to build a business with a strong foundation that will weather the ups and downs of selling on FBA.

And the most sustainable and effective way to maintain long-term success is to set a high price for your product and do everything in your control to justify the premium.

With that in mind, here are some strategies to help you down this path:

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This Week In AMZ #5

Photo credit: Dano via Visual Hunt / CC BY

FedEx Launches New Fulfillment Service

http://money.cnn.com/2017/02/07/technology/fedex-fulfillment-amazon/index.html

The big news in the seller world this week is the launch of a new fulfillment service by FedEx that aims to compete with Amazon FBA to provide logistical support for small and mid-sized businesses. Of course, the big draw of FBA is access to Amazon’s gigantic marketplace, but FedEx Fulfillment could present an attractive alternative for certain cross-sections of sellers.

According to the article: “FedEx’s solution appears to make the most sense for businesses that already have a robust online presence and don’t need to rely on another marketplace, such as Amazon’s, to find an audience.”

We’ll continue to update you as we hear more about how the program works, how much it costs, and what sort of benefits it offers compared to Amazon.

This can be a real game changer for more advanced sellers looking to expand beyond Amazon.

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A Quick Guide to Protecting Your Amazon Listing From Hijackers

Do you feel truly confident that your listing is secure on Amazon from unauthorized sellers of your product?

Amazon is a fantastic marketplace for sellers to move product. So fantastic, in fact, that competition is tightening between merchants, and sellers are becoming increasingly ruthless.

If you’ve been in the game long enough, chances are you’ve found yourself fighting off unauthorized sellers trying to sell knock-off version of your well-crafted product.

Unfortunately, there’s no single foolproof solution to stop this from happening. But, you’re not powerless. There are measures you can take to prevent this — and ways to combat it if it’s already happened.

So, fear not. We’ve got your back. This article will show you a proven 5-step formula to protect your listing from false resellers — and 4 steps you can take if you’ve already been hijacked.

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