Hands-On, Full-Service Amazon Consulting
Looking to sell more products on Amazon? Or not yet selling on Amazon, and need some help getting this going? In either case, I’m your man!
Who I am…
My name is Jon Payne and I am an Amazon consultant that helps businesses sell more effectively on Amazon. I have been making my living doing online marketing for the past 15+ years. For the first 10 years I ran the largest internet marketing agency in Charlotte, NC. We focused on SEO and PPC marketing services, and I grew the agency nicely. In my early 30’s with young children and working way too many hours, I then decided to sell that agency to take a little time off and then plot my next venture. After a few conversations with some close associates, I became convinced that Amazon offered me an opportunity to leverage my existing skill set with marketing and search engine optimization specifically, and would also prove more efficient than a traditional e-commerce path where I’d be up to my elbows in shopping cart software, payment gateways and all the other various aspects associated with building a successful e-commerce website from scratch. So Amazon had my attention…
Why Amazon vs. Google SEO and PPC
If you are on this page, you are likely already sold on the idea of selling on Amazon. But let me beat home this idea just for a moment. If you are selling products, you are MUCH better served by doing a great job ranking and selling on Amazon than you are by doing a great job ranking on Google. This goes for 95% of businesses – all but the very top brands in the world. Why? Because Amazon has the market. They have the trust. They have the BUYERS. Consumers already use Amazon to buy and are much more comfortable purchasing through Amazon than on some e-commerce website they’ve never been too.
I know this as I learned it the hard way. After selling my agency I started an e-commerce website. I was great at SEO and we got a ton of traffic. But our conversion rate was 0.40%. That’s not 40%, that’s 0.40% or less than one-half of one percent. I then started selling on Amazon after a short while, and my conversion rate on Amazon was 35%. Not 0.35%. Not 3.5%. But 35%. Yes, one out of three people who got to my Amazon product page actually bought the product. Why was it so much higher than on my own website? Well, when consumers search on Amazon they are doing so with a purpose. They are there specifically to buy something. And they are already on a site they trust, a site they have an account with, that has their payment and shipping info pre-loaded, and that probably gives them free shipping too (via Prime).
Heck, even Google says that Amazon is their top competitor. Not Bing or Yahoo. And that’s just for search in general. When it comes to product-focused searches, Amazon is king. They’ve got the volume. They’ve got the buyers.
Amazon’s online sales are so big that not only are they the #1 online retailer… but they have more sales than the next 14 online retailers COMBINED. And they’re still getting bigger.
How I got started with Amazon
I got started in Amazon by selling my own product brands that I developed and brought to market via contract manufacturers. I then listed those products for sale through Amazon’s “Seller Central” program and opted to participate in “Fulfillment by Amazon” (FBA for short). This meant Amazon would store and ship our products for us, and also handle most of the associated customer service inquires (“Where’s my package?”) and the returns as well. So this freed me up to focus on brand strategy, product development, and most important on marketing and promoting my products on Amazon. Much like with Google, if people don’t find your products when searching, then you aren’t going to sell very much.
I handled everything associated with my own brand on Amazon for the first six months or so, until sales ramped up enough for me to bring on an employee and leverage a few contractors as well. But the point I want to make here is that I had to make everything work by myself. So I’m not just a marketer. I’m familiar with every aspect of selling on Amazon – including those fun topics like ungating categories, completely the brand registry process, removing hijackers and trademark violators, and managing your feedback ratings.
Amazon consulting services
It wasn’t long after I began selling on Amazon before I started having people ask “can you help me do that too?”. Given my background
I can help you list your products, promote your products and increase sales on Amazon, get reviews, handle customer service inquiries, etc. And when I say I can “help” you with this that means I can either assist you and train you to do it, or I can just do it all completely for you. Some of the work is just a one-time setup and then that’s it, and then for other things there is an ongoing component to it. When it comes to those tasks than can and should be automated, I have a nice collection of software tools and the technical know-how and experience to implement an efficient and effective system. But there’s also a time and a place when good old-fashioned people power is what’s needed. So while I’ve been saying “I” up to this point, it’s not just me… it’s my team. And we don’t shy away from tasks that need a little people power – customer service, outreach campaigns, etc. are all things we do every day. The key idea here is this… You don’t need to do a thing if you don’t want to. We offer a comprehensive Amazon consulting service where we manage your entire Amazon operation (except shipping inventory to Amazon) and we take responsibility for improving rankings, conversions and increasing sales volume for your products on Amazon. Specifically, here are the core activities we typically focus on:
- Evaluating potential profitability and associated costs before listing a product on Amazon
- Listing your products on Amazon
- Merchandising your product pages – photos, descriptions, etc.
- Getting your products to rank on Amazon’s organic search (optimization or “Amazon SEO”)
- Creating and optimizing paid search ads on Amazon
- Generating more reviews and better reviews on your product and your seller account
- Improving your conversion rates on Amazon
- Training on all logistics – shipping to Amazon, managing inventory, etc.
- Evaluating whether you should sell as a vendor (Vendor Central), seller (Seller Central) or both
- Migrating vendors to Amazon’s Seller Central plus the FBA program where Amazon handles all fulfillment for you
- Selling internationally on Amazon’s country-specific websites
- Anything else you can think of that relates to selling on Amazon
How I charge for my Amazon consulting services
You should also know that when you hire me for Amazon consulting, you don’t just get me. Rather, I run an Amazon-focused marketing agency called Vocational Media Group, and so while I’ll be the one you speak with, the one helping to define strategy and manage the project – you also get the benefit of our specialists who focus on customer service, launch campaigns, PR & outreach, photography, copywriting and more. Okay, now let’s talk about pricing…
So here’s the catch! I don’t work for free. But I do believe both parties should have some skin in the game. So I charge a hybrid model that consists of a base monthly fee plus a sales commission.
How much does it cost?
A typical-sized client for us might be billed out at around $2,000 per month, plus 7% of top-line sales revenue. The commission is only charged on the increase in sales we create, however. That is to say if you are already selling $20k/mo on Amazon before hiring us and then after a couple of months we’re at $100k/mo, we will only charge the commission on the increase (7% on $80k increase) not the full sales volume.
Those numbers are also just an average. It can go up or down depending on the details – level of competition, how far along you are already, number of SKUs, etc. Plus, we can also play the two fees (base vs. commission) off of each other. For some clients they prefer to pay a smaller base but a higher percentage of sales. That’s common for most startups or companies that are newer to Amazon. For other clients, they might prefer a larger base but a smaller sales commission. That tends to be more popular with larger, more established firms and/or those who have been selling for a longer time on Amazon.
This hybrid fee model aligns our interests. You see, with my first business we just charged a flat-rate monthly fee. Whether we produced 100 sales, 200 sales or 20,000 sales it was the same fee we received either way. So the only way for our business to grow was to take on more clients. This second time around I didn’t want to make that same mistake. We like new clients, for sure, but with a commission model we can grow our agency’s revenue simply by continuing to grow sales for our existing clients. New clients are purely optional for us. I like a certain variety and diversity associated with having a number of different clients, but we want to keep our client number small so that we’re able to give each client the highest possible amount of attention. I’d rather hit 5-for-5 than go 7-for-30.
A warning of sorts…
So let me give you a heads-up here… I’m SUPER PICKY when it comes to taking on new clients, since we mostly make our money off of the sales commissions. It needs to be the right fit. We have to know we will hit a home run… or at least a triple! There are certain gross margins and certain types of products I look for, as I want to know the upside is there to make sense for me. But please do ask, as you may be surprised. Often a product that you might think has huge upside I might shy away from (too competitive, low margins) and then a product you might think is too niche or specific or industrial is one that I might actually get really excited about.
Ready to learn more or get started? Great. Contact me through my agency here, and we can set up a time for an initial consultation and see if we might be able to help you.
Interested in selling an Amazon business? I can also help you with that! My firm acts as a business broker for Amazon businesses and can help you find a buyer and sell your Amazon business for top dollar! Click here for more info.
Please Note: I’m an INDEPENDENT CONSULTANT and not affiliated with Amazon
To prevent any possible confusion, please read this below statement so that you understand that I’m not an employee of Amazon’s or affiliated with them:
Amazon® and Amazon.com® are Registered Trademarks of Amazon.com. Jon Payne and his firm, Vocational Media Group, LLC, are independent consultants and are not affiliated with, owned by, nor endorsed by Amazon.com.
A word about geography…
I’m an Amazon marketing consultant in Charlotte, NC but my team and I work with clients all throughout the U.S. I’m happy to fly out and meet you in person if you like, or to work entirely remote if that is what makes more sense budget-wise.