Posts in Amazon

Amazon Prime Day: Starting July 16 3PM EST

July 11th, 2018 Posted by Amazon 0 thoughts on “Amazon Prime Day: Starting July 16 3PM EST”

Amazon, shoppers, and sellers are all gearing up for this year’s Amazon Prime Day. The 36-hour event starts on July 16 at 3 PM EST and is open exclusively to Prime members. There has been a lot of talk surrounding the Prime Day with everything from speculating the best deals, to criticizing the available inventory and prices. In spite of any public opinions, Amazon is still projecting to break records after their 2017 Prime Day generated more revenue than either 2016’s Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

Bigger and Better

This will be Amazon’s third annual Prime Day, and they are touting it as the best one yet. Representatives from the company claim that there will be over one million deals, and with more deals, comes more variety. Amazon will be discounting items from every department from toys to electronics, hoping to have a promotion out there to please each shopper.

For those who are too eager to wait, the discounts have already begun. Amazon has Prime Countdown Deals of the Day with items up to eighty percent off the regular price listed right now. For items that are not yet discounted, but consumers wish to purchase, they can put them in their shopping list. If their product goes on sale on Prime Day, it will send a notification to the consumer, so they can buy it.

Time to Go Prime

As the name suggests, the deals and discounts are only open to Amazon Prime Members, but don’t worry, it’s not too late to sign up. Prime Membership runs $119 for a year or $12.99 per month, but Amazon is really wonderful about free trials. You can start your 30-day trial just in time for Prime Day. Perks don’t just include Prime Day access, but also fast and free shipping, and a number of media options.

Among the current promotions for new Prime members are three months of unlimited Kindle for $1, four months of Amazon Music for $1, $2 movie rentals, and free PC games from Twitch. If the regular Prime benefits were not enough to convince shoppers, then unlimited books, music, movies, and video games for just a few dollars, should be.

All About Alexa

Marketing firms including EMarketer, Market Track, Profitero and Gartner L2 all reported that the best buys will be Alexa exclusive items. Products available only through an order on Alexa or Amazon Echo were discounted up to 33 percent off their everyday price last year. These items include mostly cleaning products and toiletries. Ryne Misso, Market Track’s marketing director said, “this may have been a push by Amazon to get more consumers used to buying their household goods — toilet paper, paper towels, hand soap, etc. — through their Alexa devices.”

Even though Amazon Alexas and Echos are incredibly popular, statistics show that only a small portion of users shop using their digital home assistants. Most Alexa requests are for listening to audio or asking questions. By discounting everyday necessities only on Alexa, Amazon creates a deal that users really can’t refuse, creating more familiarity with the Alexa shopping process, and hopefully increasing future sales.

Upping the Grocery Game

Since Amazon’s acquisition of the popular grocery chain, Whole Foods, they’ve been integrating their online sales platform with the supermarket to promote sales on both ends. Prime Day will be no different. Starting on July 11 and continuing until the end of Prime Day, Prime Members who spend $10.00 at Whole Foods will receive a $10.00 credit to spend on Amazon. Prime Members who have yet to shop at the store will be given an incentive to give it a shot before July 17th. New customers will get $10.00 off their order and an additional $10.00 to use at a later date.

In addition to the Prime Day credit, Whole Foods will be featuring deals of their own including seafood, produce, and other select seasonal items. To further incentivize and self-promote, Amazon is also offering 10% cash back for orders up to $400 at Whole Foods for anyone shopping with their Amazon Prime Rewards Visa card between July 11 and July 14. Like the Alexa based shopping discounts, Amazon using Whole Foods to create enticements that are too good to miss.

No Time Like the Present

Whether you’re looking for a good deal on digital home assistants or starting up your holiday shopping, Prime Day has become a can’t miss event. Make sure you get online, sign up for your Prime Membership, download the Amazon app and start adding items to your cart. Inventory on items is limited and deals are timed, so it’s important to act fast or you might miss the biggest online sales day of the year.

Avalanche Industries: Believing in Your Brands

June 28th, 2018 Posted by Amazon, MAP, Production 0 thoughts on “Avalanche Industries: Believing in Your Brands”

The Secret to Success

Avalanche Industries is one of the largest internet retailers. We started in the 1980s as a brick and mortar toy store, but with the internet boom in the 1990s we joined the eCommerce world and can now be found as a seller in every category on Amazon under our DBA Avalanche Brands. We stay true to our roots with our two brick and mortar stores in Bethany Beach, DE while maintaining a strong online presence through our Selbyville, DE team. Avalanche has a full buying team located in Selbyville, as well as New Orleans, LA. They scout the best products on the market in hopes of partnering with businesses to grow both their sales and our volume. Currently, we deal with 80,000 SKUs on Amazon, all of which is made possible by our fantastic team members, devoted exclusive partners, and our thousands of vendors. The secret to our long-term success is our belief in our brand and our clients’ brands.

Next Level Production Service

Avalanche is always taking everything a step further, and Production is no exception. Many third-party retailers do not offer listing optimization and those that do offer only the bare minimum. We set ourselves apart with over 2,000 square feet in studios, in-house, professional photographers, copywriters, graphic artists, and videographers with several years of experience, and top of the line photography, video, software, and recording equipment. We shoot the product both in the studio and take it on location to get the full spectrum of uses and looks. When we sign an Exclusive Partner we generally optimize 10 to 20 listings upfront. That’s anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000 in complimentary production services that we offer our clients to show them how serious we are about their brand and product. With their review and approval, we will go on to optimize their whole product line with complementary production services as stated in the Exclusive Partnership.

It’s Not Just Creativity, It’s Consistency

The value of production goes beyond making products look and sound great, but upholding the cohesion of the brand itself. You can have the best website or the most useful product on the market, but if your Amazon page does not match you’re going to lose sales. Our Lead Photographer, Chris Vendetta explains the importance of brand consistency, “As a consumer when I find a great product, then go to Amazon and I see poor images, iPhone box shots, I doubt what I am getting. I worry if it’s a knockoff. I worry it was used. Data shows that doubt on the consumer end will cost you sales long term.” Each Production Associate works with their brand and reps to identify what it is they want to showcase about their brand as a whole, as well on the product level to ensure consumer-friendly consistency.

Hard Work Means Nothing If It Doesn’t Show

Anyone who has optimized a listing on Amazon knows that the most painstaking tasks are getting your images, copywriting, or videos to show on the page. Once it shows, there’s no guarantee that it will continue to show, so essentially all of that production work was for naught. Half of the effort of the Production Team at Avalanche is utilized for their creative skills while the other focuses on maintaining the integrity of the listing. We even have an in-house program that will monitor when our images fall off a listing. I wouldn’t be surprised if Amazon was irritated with how many cases Avalanche submits to them each day to make sure that each of their Exclusive Partners have pristine listings for their products.

No One Buys Products They Can’t Find

One of the key parts of copywriting at Avalanche is keywording. Amazon uses the words in the title as search terms, but you can also add additional words on the back end of the product. Each of our Exclusive products has about 50 keywords in addition to the title saved on the backend to make sure products appear when relevant information is searched. Avalanche also employs a team to handle in-house advertising. Currently, we’re running over 6,000 active campaigns to advertise products. Sponsored product ads appear at the bottom and top of pages when you’re searching and sometimes on the sidebar of related product pages. We ensure that our clients have their merchandise seen as much as possible.

Holding Other Sellers to Higher Standards

In addition to production services, Avalanche also has their own software called MAPWatch. Maintaining brand consistency and integrity starts in pricing. Our software patrols the internet for your product and flags any seller who is discounting below your minimum advertised price. We can then notify our MAPWatch clients with the exact date, time, and name of the MAP violator. There are three different levels for clients depending on how in-depth they want their service. Not only do we value our clients and their products, but we make sure that other sellers and consumers do the same.

You’re Only as Good as Your Partners

At Avalanche we know that we are who we carry. The more successful we are with our sales, the more successful our clients can be. We take all of the work out of selling including optimization, listing monitoring, and fulfillment so that our partners can focus on the growth of their own brand in other ways. The bigger and better one of us gets, the bigger and better the other gets. We develop meaningful relationships with our clients on personal levels, some of whom we’ve known for several years now. Value isn’t just measured in numbers at Avalanche, it’s in the heart and soul of each brand and each client.


Boost: Amazon’s 2018 Seller Summit

June 22nd, 2018 Posted by Amazon 0 thoughts on “Boost: Amazon’s 2018 Seller Summit”

On June 20th, Fulfillment by Amazon hosted Boost, the 2018 Seller Summit in Avalanche’s hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana. This Summit was a Prime (pun intended) setting to connect with Amazon Representatives and fellow Sellers and boasted the largest attendance of any Amazon conference yet. Sellers had the opportunity to attend a variety of conferences ranging from how to manage inventory to enhanced brand content. It was a day packed full of information and communication.

BEYOND THE SCREEN

Amazon exists on a digital plane, making it easy to forget that phone calls and emails have a very human destination. One of the greatest benefits of attending Boost is the possibility to interact with individuals from Amazon. From executives to department managers, attendees were able to meet face to face with people from the other side of the screen. When Amazon and its Sellers unite, it’s an opportunity for flourishing business. With innovations and demonstrations being discussed without barriers, the Boost Summit was an occasion not to be missed by any Seller, including Avalanche.

Avalanche’s Chief Sales Executive Speaking at Boost

 

INSIGHT INTO THE FUTURE

Even advanced FBAs, like Avalanche, can benefit from such events. There is always something new to be learned, partially because Amazon is always unveiling recent technologies and features. The summit kicked off with a keynote and then jumped right into Cynthia Williams, Vice President, FBA Business and Operations, discussing what’s next for Amazon. All conference-goers got a sneak peek of the up and coming FBA resources and services to improve Seller experiences. This bit of insight gave attending Sellers a leg up on their competitors, preparing them for their future on Amazon.

TIME TO BREAK OUT

The Boost Agenda consisted of five different breakout session time slots. Each session was about an hour long, pausing only for lunch. Sellers could choose between three different sessions to attend, allowing Sellers to customize their day to their needs. If they already have heavy traffic on their listings, but have several dissatisfied customers, they could attend the Preventing and Managing Customer Returns session instead of the Increasing Product Visibility session. Breaking down the sessions also creates a more personalized experience. Instead of large assemblies with the whole conference attending, Sellers could sit in smaller groups where it’s easier to listen and to be heard.

A PLACE TO LEARN AND TO TEACH

Avalanche tries to stay at the forefront of Amazon innovations, utilizing their benefits to the fullest extent, including Small and Light. With over 20,000 products enrolled in the Small and Light program resulting in 6 million in year to date sales, Amazon thought that Avalanche would be a perfect representation of the program’s success. Our Chief Sales Executive, Jeremy Navarre, was invited to speak at the Lower Fulfillment Costs with FBA Small and Light session. He was able to offer a testimonial to other Sellers, explaining the benefits of the program and any bumps we encountered along the way. It was a chance to build the selling community and share some valuable information with one another, and Avalanche was proud to be a part of it.

We hope to see you at Boost 2019 Seller Summit!

The Launch of FBA On Site

June 16th, 2018 Posted by Amazon 0 thoughts on “The Launch of FBA On Site”

Avalanche Industries was one of 50 sellers selected to participate in the launch of Amazon’s FBA On Site program. Launched at the end of 2017, it allows third party sellers to treat their own warehouses as Amazon fulfillment centers. So when consumers are shopping the site, the seller still has the “Fulfilled by Amazon” tag, even though they are shipping from their own locations.

Amazon sent a representative to Selbyville to bring our warehouse and programs up to code with what Amazon considers FBA. This includes designated areas for certain kinds of inventory, storage parameters, and the use of the Amazon shipping database. While these changes in shipping are something to which Avalanche will have to adjust, the payoff is immense.

HOW DOES IT WORK

Jamie Nissen is Avalanche’s on stop shop for FBA On Site. Dima Fedarkevich provides Jamie with a list of items falling into the Small-Oversize, Medium-Oversize, and Large-Oversize categories. These are items where the fulfillment cost is too high on the product to send into Amazon, making it more profitable to list for sale from Selbyville.

These items are listed on Amazon’s database on our account. It’s very similar to listing products on our Seller Central account. Everything is scanned in, provided with a location, and then we pop up as an option on Amazon. Once a customer choses to buy the product from us, it generates a pick list. Each morning Jamie takes the list and picks the items from our On Site warehouse. She packages them and sets them on a pallet to be shipped. We currently have 433 products listed for sale. We’ve made 9 sales for a total of $318.60. Our most popular item is the Lucky Bums Bodyboard.

CUTTING OUT THE EXCESS

This new program really cuts everyone a break. Amazon is feeling the relief already with sellers sending less inventory to their fulfillment centers. Within the past year alone, we’ve seen an increase in inventory regulations due to the congestion of fulfillment centers in the form of increased storage fees and maximum inventory limit. Amazon just has too much product and not enough space. With the FBA On Site program, it gives large sellers like Avalanche an incentive to keep their inventory in their location, allowing Amazon to cut down on the overcrowding.

While Avalanche has seen a significant increase in inventory stored in Selbyville, we’re not feeling the weight of it as much. The biggest benefit is that we don’t have to pay storage fees for our inventory in our own location. With the recent increase of $0.05 per cubic foot of inventory a month, we saw anywhere between a 2% and 12% increase on product level for monthly fees. It may not seem like a big jump, but when you have 30,000 products in stock, the number jumps up quickly. FBA On Site cuts the storage fee expense out completely for those units.

Even the consumer will eventually feel like savings of FBA On Site. Minimizing the amount of locations that a product has to visit or the number of people that have to handle it cuts down an item’s cost. A product ships from a manufacturer to us, who then ships to Amazon, who ships it to the customer, each time incurring a shipping cost and a labor cost. Cutting out one step entirely will bring down the cost of shipping for the consumer. This gives us room to increase margin or a more efficient way to sell through stale inventory. Plus, we get happy customers that leave positive reviews!

REAPING THE BENEFITS

The FBA On Site program doesn’t just save us money on on storage fees, but it opens up new purchasing possibilities. It gives us the opportunity to buy items that would have otherwise been unprofitable because of fulfillment fees, like large totes and bodyboards, and sell them for a profit. With the program open to so few sellers at this point, the competition on oversized items is minimal, giving us an exclusive by default.

Not only do the dollars add up, but the program may significantly reduce the headache of shipping the products. Under FBA On Site, Amazon will pick packages up from a seller’s location and then fulfill them. They choose the best shipping option for the product using its own logistical network. Sellers have already reported paying 70-85% less for their shipping costs under the new set up.

Combining FBA On Site with our MFN account, Seller Fulfilled Prime, and all other channels is going to be a huge learning experience for the whole Avalanche team. More avenues are going to require more time and effort, but we’re already starting to see the payoff of our multichannels, making 2018 look like a very promising year for Avalanche.

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