George Reid

 What I Learned About Amazon This Week
To: LaunchPod Readers


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🚀What Receiving an Email from Jeff Bezos Feels Like

1) The former Director of Customer Experience at Amazon told me about receiving the dreaded ? (question mark) email from Jeff Bezos. Stefan Haney was this weeks podcast guest and what a belter it was. He’s the 3rd director I’ve had on, and recently I’ve been asking myself, “why the fuck do they want to come on the show”, because lets be honest he’s a veteran, and I look like some Amazon virgin – in the Michelle Obama notepad I borrowed from the Mrs, all I’ve got is, “because you’ve got a quintessentially British accent”.


2) Our good friends at FLEXE raise $70m, demonstrating the value of having impeccable operations on Amazon. With FBA acquisition companies being all the hyper for investment at the moment, it’s great to see others identifying the value in the logistics space.


3) I highly recommend you follow Helen Guo of Schoolyard Snacks. Her story is great but the little nuggets she shares each week will truly help solopreneurs build strong foundations. She’s recently got Forbes 30U30 so she’s pretty good.


4) Apple showing off with their A+ Premium. I’m seeing this popping up from big brands more and more, but before you get all excited, it’s not for you.

Most brands aren’t even getting the current A+ right, so what’s the point in thinking about second base if you fall at the first. Sorry but. Secondly, it’s costing a small fortune, with many vendors giving up a hefty %, some whispers stating $250k a year as a ballpark figure. Lego also do a belter of a job. What I’m seeing though is more and more video across the whole marketplace, which, and I’ve said this before, means you should really be doubling down on incorporating video into your content creation process.


5)97% of businesses say improving digital experience for users is a priority, but 71% doesn’t know where to start“. In my opinion, the experience on Amazon is your first touchpoint that you have with the customer, which is your primary product image, followed by your supporting images.

If you, therefore, want to achieve a quick win, create better images. Spend money on them. I’m so tired of seeing big brands skimping out on this. This week I’ve been reviewing a globally recognised boardgame, and the images were awful. It’s generating hundreds of thousands a year, but an a £1k investment in unbelievable images and A+ hasn’t been an obvious decision. Why is this? Would you spend ~1% of a products annual revenue to increase the annual revenue by ~1%, I would every time.


6) “Elon Musk currently makes nearly 2 million times as much as the average American household, while Jeff Bezos currently makes 2.6 million times as much, according to Bloomberg.”


7) Amazon Attribution is available for UK sellers now, you can join here. If you drive paid social traffic to Amazon, this is good news for you because you can track the success.


8) U.S. store visits fell 52% on Black Friday. Shopping on U.S. retail websites, however, rose 22% over last year to $9 billion. And Cyber Monday had an estimated spending of $10.8 billion to $12.7 billion, it’s expected to be the largest online sales day in U.S. history.


9) Ex-Coca Cola marketing director shares some tips. My favourite is around the importance of packaging, and also the suggestion to print packaging ideas out and put them on the supermarket shelf next to the competition, thus seeing if they standout. Great snip from this podcast – see, I don’t just talk about my own show.


10) In the last 6-9 months, as sales on Amazon have flown for many sellers, we’ve also seen many systems break. Here’s a brief breakdown on Amazon’s tenet: looking round corners.

This stems from Jeff Bezos famously sending emails with just a question mark. It’s usually because of a negative customer experience. Amazonian’s are drilled at look round corners, so they foresee these negative experiences before they occur. A good example of doing this would be to test a process to failure. Take self-fulfilment in the heavy bulky category. By asking yourself the question, “what would happen if orders trebled tomorrow”, you’re able to identify breaking points in your system. This prevents you overgrowing a process, thus mitigating the risk of negative customer experiences. Remember, a negative experience, e.g. late delivery, can destroy your Amazon business overnight. So, take a step back, and mentally play with the dials in your head, on Excel, or whatever you do. Find the breaking points, then adjust the system so you never reach it.


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