#560 – Amazon, Walmart, TikTok, & Target Strategies From A 9 Figure Seller

Listen in as Grace Kopplin, a seasoned e-commerce expert with a marketing background and former Helium 10 blog writer, shares her journey from a Midwest upbringing to managing an Amazon team for a nine-figure e-commerce business. Grace’s initial forays into retail buying and planning led to her pivotal shift to the e-commerce arena. As she recounts her experience honing analytical skills as a business analyst, we get an inside look at the strategies driving profitability and sales growth on the ever-evolving Amazon platform.

During our conversation, we tackled the significant changes that Amazon sellers are facing, especially with the latest coupon and sales strategies in Q1 2024. Grace reveals how the new minimum discount requirements for coupons have transformed selling approaches, impacting product badging and organic ranking. We also talk about the intricacies of Amazon PPC advertising, including the exciting new video campaign options and store spotlight formats. Additionally, Grace provides insight into how resellers can navigate sponsored brand ads amidst fierce buy box competition and the potential for platforms like TikTok Shop to skyrocket brand awareness.

To wrap up this episode, Grace and Bradley explore the implementation of AI in Amazon-selling strategies, noting the platform’s dominance and the emerging significance of marketplaces like TikTok. We delve into how new Amazon data points and tools, like the Product Opportunity Explorer and Helium 10’s Cerebro, are essential for content strategy and maintaining a competitive edge. Plus, don’t miss our discussion on the unique challenges of managing large assortments in categories like apparel, footwear, and jewelry. Whether you’re a seasoned seller or new to the e-commerce game, this episode is packed with actionable strategies and expert insights you won’t want to miss.

In episode 560 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Bradley and Grace discuss:

  • 00:00 – E-Commerce Strategies for Serious Sellers
  • 01:21 – Grace’s Backstory
  • 06:11 – Managing Brand Registry and Fees Strategy
  • 13:24 – Amazon Advertising and Selling Strategies
  • 14:45 – New Amazon PPC Strategies and Challenges
  • 20:02 – Amazon Launch Strategy Evolution
  • 23:01 – Amazon Strategy and AI Implementation
  • 25:12 – Leveraging Amazon Data for Strategic Advantage
  • 32:22 – PowerPlay Hockey Jerseys and Conferences

Transcript

Bradley Sutton:

Today, we’ve got a seller who used to write blogs for Helium 10 but now works at a company that’s a nine-figure seller online with Amazon, obviously, being their number one moneymaker. But you might be shocked when you find out which marketplaces brings in the second most amount of sales. Find out what that is plus get her Amazon strategies in today’s episode. How cool is that? Pretty cool, I think.

Bradley Sutton:

Hello everybody, and welcome to another episode of the Serious Sellers Podcast by Helium 10. I’m your host, Bradley Sutton, and this is the show that’s completely BS free, unscripted and unrehearsed organic conversation about serious strategies for serious sellers of any level in the e-commerce world. And just wanted to throw a quick shout out here, we have a new TikTok channel at Helium 10. It’s helium10_software. So if you want some unserious strategies you know sometimes we got some serious strategies on there too. Make sure to give us a follow. All right, go. You can even see me singing in Chinese on one of these videos here but go to h10.me/tiktok or just type in Helium 10, one zero underscore software and follow us on TikTok. We’re going to have somebody who I don’t think I’m not going to ask her to do a TikTok dance for us here. But Grace, first time, I believe first time on the podcast, right, for you.

Grace:

Yes, yes, first time.

Bradley Sutton:

Awesome, well, welcome. Like you, actually, you know, we met years ago at different conferences and stuff but also for a while when I was running the content team, you were one of our actually contract workers where you would, you know, write some Amazon related blogs. But it could be that I know some of your backstory, but since I’m like 10-second Tom from 50 First Dates, I just forget everything. So, regardless if I remember or not, let’s go into your backstory because nobody else on the show might know who you are. You just told me that you’re in Minnesota, but it sounds like you’re not from there. Where are you from?

Grace:

Yes, I was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, so I’m still a Midwest gal, but I made my way to Minneapolis about six years ago now.

Bradley Sutton:

Well, how can you be a Twins fan? Shouldn’t you still be a Brewers fan then?

Grace:

Fair Weather fan, I suppose.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, all right. So Milwaukee, the Frozen Tundra of Milwaukee, and then going into college. Where did you go to college at?

Grace:

Yes, I went to University of Wisconsin in Madison, so very big party school had a great time.

Bradley Sutton:

What is the mascot? Why can’t it? It’s not the

Grace:

The Badgers.

Bradley Sutton:

See? I was going to say I knew it started with a B. I was like no Beavers is Oregon State. What B is it the Badgers? Yes, all right.

Grace:

Bucky Badger.

Bradley Sutton:

Well, what did you? What did you major in over there?

Grace:

Yeah, I got my BBA in marketing. I’ve always been just like super business oriented and I wanted to do something that was pretty broad, so I did what anyone would do and got a degree in business, and I’ve done a lot of different things since then.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, and what like. Well, as soon as you got out of university, you know, got your degree. What was your first gainful employment that you did?

Grace:

I feel like in business school they always teach you. It’s like you can either go into finance and be a consultant or if you want to work in retail and you like business, let’s go be a buyer. Those are like the two things they tell you that are options. I was like I need to be a buyer so I started my career in retail in a buying office doing buying and planning. So that gave me a pretty good basis of just how retail works. So I focused a lot on brick and mortar retail, buying products for stores, allocating the inventory and doing the forecasting for that.

Bradley Sutton:

And what was your first exposure to e-commerce?

Grace:

Yeah, it was actually my first job out of college. We actually slated all of our ads by writing it down in a journal and submitting it through marketing, and our e-com business was super small back then. It wasn’t that long ago but that was my first exposure to e-comm and it was always really interesting to me. And as the retail atmosphere changed in the early 2010s, I knew that’s where I wanted to be for longevity, for my career.

Bradley Sutton:

Now, was it at the same company that you’re working at today?

Grace:

No, I’ve bounced around a lot and my career has led me in a lot of different ways. Unfortunately, a lot of the large big box retailers I worked for all had their demise for any reason or another. So I kind of bounced around until I found an e-commerce centric company, which is where I’m at right now.

Bradley Sutton:

What did you start doing at this company and then? What have you been doing over the years and not now? What is your main role?

Grace:

Yeah, so I started as an e-commerce business analyst, which is pretty much jack of all trades when it comes to anything analytical. So I was kind of the person who would be pulling all of the reporting from Amazon, creating forecasts, pitching to our executive team. This is why we need to buy this inventory for Amazon. This is how it all works. So I was really in the weeds and I feel like that gave me such good experience in what I’m doing now, which is kind of managing the full Amazon team really a strong focus on profitability, but also sales growth, which has been such a hot topic recently. So I’ve done a lot of different things.

Bradley Sutton:

Is this like a company that has its own brand and manufacturers own products?

Grace:

So the company is called Powerplay Retail. We started as a manufacturer’s rep group, so working with brands, helping them get into retailers. It was really focused on brick and mortar retailers. Obviously, we have Target and Best Buy here in Minneapolis, so companies like us exist to help brands who don’t know how to get into retail do just that. And then we kind of morphed into a distributor, as brands needed help actually shipping into retailers. And then when brands were like, hey, can you help us sell online, we were like yes, 100%. So then that’s why our e-commerce arm exists.

Grace:

So we’re a third-party reseller that partners with brands that don’t want to bring Amazon in-house. So we buy and sell inventory out of our own large 3P account. We’re also an Amazon agency, so I manage brands in their own 3P accounts. So I manage brands in their own 3P accounts. So I kind of do it both ways and it kind of just depends on what brands need. And over the years we’ve also dabbled in private label. We’ve created our own products and sold those in our accounts as well. So it’s been a really cool experience being able to try it just every different way of selling on Amazon.

Bradley Sutton:

How many seller accounts do you guys have?

Grace:

Yeah, right now from an owned perspective we have three or four, but just from our full partnership perspective, I’m probably in maybe 20 different accounts on a daily basis.

Bradley Sutton:

So how does it work for when you’re managing somebody else’s stuff, like for brand registry? Like do some of these brands already have their own brand registry and then you somehow just get authorized or are you the one who is actually registering their brand because they never were before? How does that work?

Grace:

Both. So some companies are more Amazon savvy and right from the beginning and get go they registered with brand registry, which is great, and in that case we just become an authorized reseller and an administrator under their brand registry so we can act on their behalf. And in some cases they don’t know, so either I’m kind of coaching them through that setup process or actually registering it on their behalf and managing everything. So it kind of just depends on how hands-on they want to be or how hands-off I want to be. So whatever works best for the brand, always the brand in mind for us.

Bradley Sutton:

Let’s just skip ahead. We’re going to talk a lot of strategy, but I think the thing top of mind for so many Amazon sellers and I think you have a unique perspective because you’re dealing with so many different accounts I’m assuming you’ve got customers in many different categories, many different size of products, different, you know, types of products. The fees, you know, there’s low inventory fees, that’s coming. You know, there’s low inventory fees. That’s coming, you know, depending on when people are listening to this episode, maybe it’s already there. There’s the inventory placement fees, so that’s been out for a little bit longer. How has this affected the brands that you’re working with and what are the different strategies that? Like how you guys have pivoted? Like, are you doing your shipments any different or are you just like taking in the chin and it’s costing us 20% more? Like, talk a little bit about some different experiences with different brands.

Grace:

Yeah. So these fees have been a huge topic of conversation for us in my operations team on how we can best handle these. Obviously they’re real and we have to figure out a way to respond to them and maintain profitability above all else. So in terms of the shipment processes, we’ve been kind of going back and forth between the Amazon optimized shipments and just kind of eating the cost, depending on what our profitability looks like. So when these fees were introduced, our first step was like recreating our Amazon profitability model. I know there’s a good Helium 10 one out there. Amazon kind of has its own Revenue Calculator tool.

Grace:

But what we did internally is create a very, very extensive profit and loss model outlining all of those different new fees and how they could impact us, so estimating at like a per pound dollar amount what this inventory placement fee would be an impact for us by SKU. So we can just first see how much can we afford to spend on advertising now that we have to spend more on logistics and operations costs, because that’s kind of our flexible cost. And then, two, how is that going to impact our sales if we’re investing less on some of the advertising side of things and then when it comes to the low inventory fee side, I was actually surprised that the fee even rolled out when it did. I know there’s some concessions that Amazon is making right now and I think they’re going to probably continue to make more concessions as some of the loopholes are found. But the fact that it’s getting charged at the parent level is a huge problem, especially for a lot of brand partners that we have in the clothing and apparel and footwear side of things.

Bradley Sutton:

Wait, hold on, hold on. I’ve just been so busy with stuff I haven’t even been checking that. So at the parent level means like you could have 10 variations and nine of them are cool, but then what? Don’t tell me. You’re saying that if one of them is low inventory, everything gets charged.

Grace:

No, it’s not one of them, it’s the sum of all of the children up to the parent. So no, it’s not one of them, it’s the sum of all of the children up to the parent. So they take like the average part of the supply chain, like it’s not under my control if there’s an issue with the supply of the raw materials needed to create my product and I can’t ship it into FBA. So we’re definitely looking at those, estimating them and seeing how we can respond, and there’s definitely been some strongly worded emails to my Amazon Account Manager about just how these are impacting us and how critical it is to our business, as profitability right now is, it’s hard for all third party resellers.

Bradley Sutton:

So your team is not the one controlling the inbound? I mean, obviously you’re not controlling the manufacturing. But what about from, like you know, some of these brands have 3PL, are you the one who created the transfer shipments?

Grace:

Yes.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. So how are you doing those differently, if at all?

Grace:

Yeah. So we have decided because Amazon is encouraging us to send in more units at once to decrease our frequency of shipments into Amazon. So in efforts to maintain a very lean weeks of supply, we’ve implemented a process to send in weekly replenishment orders based on the last week sales which makes a lot of sense, right. But now as Amazon is encouraging us to send in more and more and charging us more to send in less, we’ve had to weigh those costs and benefits of sending in shipments weekly. So now, depending on the size of the product, it might even be monthly that we’re sending into Amazon, and we’ve been relying a lot on LTL shipments to save on prices. But now it seems like small parcel might be a little bit more cost effective for us in some cases. So it’s definitely changed how we’ve managed this and I’m really interested to see how these fees potentially change moving into Q4, as we’re sending in a ton of inventory into FBA and shipments just become so much more regular.

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah, okay, interesting. We’ve got Prime Day coming up in July and what you know. You’ve got a number of Prime Days under your belt. What are some things that you’re planning on doing the same or and or differently as far as what kinds of deals, if any, you’re doing, like how you tackle your PPC? Let’s just have a quick Grace’s Prime Day Playbook 2024.

Grace:

You know what I was thinking about this today, because Lightning Deals and Prime Exclusive Discounts are due by midnight and with all of these changes, and also I don’t know if you’ve heard about the new return fee assessment happening on June 1st but this, I think, is going to have a huge impact on us and just our profitability and how much we’re going to be able to afford on markdowns and promotions.

Grace:

So my theory, at least for Prime Day this year, is people are going to be a little bit less promotional just because of how hard it’s been to be profitable with these new fees. But then again, there are those discount minimums that we need to meet in order to get that prime day badging which means so much to your sales. So for our top moving, best products, I’m still going to be at least 20% off, like I need the badging if I don’t get the sales. It doesn’t matter if I’m profitable or not, so I’m definitely be. I’m definitely going to be pulling back on some of the costs, like PPC, in order to fund my promotions. So I think, to answer your question succinctly, I will be definitely promoting steeply on my best products, but maybe my middle tier and my lower selling products. I might just keep those at full price because of profitability reasons.

Bradley Sutton:

Speaking of discounts and things like that. You know another thing that kind of rolled man 2024, when I think about it, the Q1 was just like a doozy for a few things. So the restrictions on, like coupons and discounts and, like you know, the sales history yeah, minimum discounts for coupons.

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah. So like, how has that effect? Like I mean, for me it didn’t affect me too much on the coupon side, because I don’t always use coupons. But what about you? Were you guys using coupons? And if so, has your strategy had to shift now?

Grace:

Yeah. So I wasn’t even aware of the new discount minimums for coupons until I was looking at one of my listings and I was like why is my coupon not on? We used to really heavily do that like 5% coupon on one week, off the next week, five on the next week, just to keep some like badging on our listings Because we believe that has a really significant impact in like bestseller ranking and organic ranking and keywords. So we used to do that quite a lot. We’re not doing that anymore just because we can’t afford to be that steep of a discount on coupons. So we haven’t actually come up with what our strategy is going to look like since that is so new. In the last like month-ish, we’ve kind of just been keeping our normal like promotion strategy and hopefully it doesn’t impact sales too much. But that’s something I can’t answer right now.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, yeah, a lot of this stuff is so new that it’s going to take us all a little bit to try and figure out what. What we’re going general PPC strategy you know PPC is they’re doing more adding, as opposed to like taking stuff away or changing big rules. Like I hadn’t added new video campaigns in a while like could have been maybe a year even and then I noticed, like a couple months ago, now all of a sudden I can do ASIN targeting video campaigns and keyword targeting video because I’m like, oh, that’s new, that’s pretty cool. But, like you know, Amazon’s always launching new kinds of targeting and new kinds of, you know, what is it called for the sponsor brand? Is it like the vertical ads and things like that? What new-ish things are you doing, if any, on the advertising side?

Grace:

Yeah. So I agree with you. I think if you’re not in Amazon every day, you’re missing something. So that’s something that I try to do. I’m not like actively in charge of PPC or managing campaigns, but I always like to stay abreast of like all the new different techniques and see how it works with the team. One thing that I’m really excited to try is the new store spotlight format, where you can actually click to different store pages in the sponsor brand placement, which I think looks really cool. If anything else, definitely, want to test to see if it drives extra sales.

Grace:

One thing for us that’s challenging with sponsored brand ads, though, is as a reseller, and a lot of times we’re not the exclusive reseller. Spending on sponsored ads for sponsored brands leads to sales for the brand but not necessarily sales for us. So if you’re rotating in the buy box spend on sponsor brand, you’re driving sales for the brand. It’s not necessarily just for us. So how do we manage that? That’s been a hot topic for us.

Bradley Sutton:

Are you personally doing anything on other platforms, be it Walmart, TikTok shop, or if so, or if not, is there anybody at your company who is focused on those channels?

Grace:

Yes, we are. We are really focused on TikTok shop right now. We’ve been using it more so as like an awareness driving tactic, more so than a sales driving tactic right now is a lot of the brands that we work with are more in a premium price point, so we’ve found that the TikTok items that work the best are really kind of almost that impulse item. So we’ve been using it to drive awareness, drive conversations around the products that we sell and the brands that we work with. And we’ve seen great halo effects on Amazon with branded search going up as engagement and content goes up for the brand on TikTok. So we’ve been using TikTok shop in that way.

Grace:

In terms of Walmart, that’s always been a strategy for us. Transparently, Walmart just hasn’t been a volume driver for us. It’s been a steady but it hasn’t really been a place that’s warranted a ton of focus for us. But another marketplace that has been great for us is actually Target’s marketplace, Target Plus, and that’s been a key piece of our success, especially with working with brands who are looking for store placement at Target. For example, we’ve had a few items that we’ve listed on Target’s marketplace that have done really well that have gotten the attention of a buyer and actually got store placement, which is really exciting. And at the end of the day, getting an item placed on shelves most of the time can drive more volume than a mid-tier listing on Amazon, so we tend to try to use that strategy.

Bradley Sutton:

How do you get on target these days, like wasn’t it invite only back in the day or now that Target is adding that 360 or some kind of like?

Grace:

Yeah, I think it might still be invite only, but I know they’ve been actively adding a lot of sellers. I know that their back end is still quite archaic compared to what Amazon is. It’s probably what Walmart was like four years ago. But I think it is still invite only but definitely something to reach out to your connections and see if you can get a connect with a Walmart e-comm buyer.

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah, I mean, that’s what I’ve been saying about Walmart for years is the end game and the reason for Walmart.com. You know there’s people who say, oh, you know, like you know a lot of the SKUs, I’ll just have like 10% of my Amazon sales. No, you’re not trying to. I mean sure, if it’s profitable, why not increase your sales by 10%? But the main end game is you could get on the radar of Walmart buyers potentially and go 1P which increases. And then the next step is getting into 4,000 Walmart stores, which is like yes, is now going to dwarf your Amazon sales even. But on the target side totally makes sense. That you know there’s not that many people buying. You know consumers buying stuff on Target compared to Walmart or Amazon’s even less than Walmart. But then that’s not the end game. The end game is if you can get well like, give me an example, some of those that you said you’ve been able to get them in Target stores, like those POs are for what? Like how many units? Like thousands, right?

Grace:

Yes, tens of thousands.

Bradley Sutton:

Tens of thousands, wow.

Grace:

And what’s also really cool about Target’s marketplace is that it’s gated from a seller perspective. So once you list a product on Target, it is gated for you to sell it, which I know has become more and more an issue on Amazon, with unauthorized resellers and different brand protection strategies that are maybe a little bit gray market. So I think that’s something that is really interesting to sellers who fight for the Buy Box on Amazon, and it’s a little bit of a relief to be able to list it and not have to check it or wait for the Helium 10 notification to come up that the Buy Box has changed and also your advertising spend, as you can continue to advertise when you have a Buy Box. It’s something that we love about Target.

Bradley Sutton:

Going back to Amazon, now. Let’s say you’ve got a brand who’s launching a new product, what is your go-to launch strategy these days? Obviously gone are the days of things like two-step URLs and search, find, buys and giveaways and things like that. So for your launch, are you just doing PPC and maybe having a lower price, or you’re only launching stuff where there’s already some kind of brand recognition, where you don’t have to do too much special?

Grace:

We do both. So we’ve worked with brands who have sold on Amazon for a long time and already have hundreds of thousands of monthly searches for their brand on Amazon and we’ve also worked with brands that are brand new and maybe are selling a new product that doesn’t quite fit into a category that exists yet on Amazon. From a review perspective, we definitely lean on Amazon Vine. I think it has been getting better – the quality of reviews and just the ease of use of that tool, just to ensure that we’re adhering to Amazon’s policies. But just from an overall launch strategy, we’ve been thinking about top of funnel marketing a lot more. It’s easiest to win when you have branded search on Amazon already, just so you’re showing up on that first page of search results. But we’ve been using we talked about TikTok shop. Using TikTok is a really important part of our launch strategy and also just advertising outside of Amazon. So working with content creators to introduce a brand or introduce a product, if it’s like a new product line under a brand that maybe people are already familiar about, using promotion codes that type of thing, as well. Are you then those influencers sending people to a TikTok shop product, or sending people to go search on Amazon, or a mixture of both?

Grace:

We’ll mostly send to TikTok shop, but we do see just like an organic halo effect and someone sees it on Amazon. They maybe have more trust for the marketplace and they go and try to find the product on Amazon. So we’ve got a couple of cool case studies on that.

Bradley Sutton:

I probably should have asked this at the beginning. But, just like you know, I know you don’t have the numbers in front of you, but if you were to talk about last year’s sales or projected 2024 over all the stuff that your company manages, what do you think it’s going to be on Amazon, Walmart, TikTok shop and Target rough? You know I don’t need exactly. Yeah.

Grace:

So our goal is always double every year and we have in the last two, three years, as we’ve expanded marketplaces, our brand partnerships and ASIN count. I think the ASIN count that I manage right now on Amazon is upwards of 50,000 ASINs, so we’re always adding more products. It’s so many.

Grace:

That’s a topic for a different time of how frustrating that can be at some time. But I mean we’re in the triple digit millions going into 2024, at least for the e-commerce side of things. So it’s really exciting and there’s a lot of growth ahead of us and I think the biggest challenge for us as a three-piece seller and a distributor is managing the profitability and the agency side of our house is looking a lot in terms of outlook is looking a lot more profitable for us.

Bradley Sutton:

Nice, nice. What about what’s this number two thing, so the nine figures? Is Amazon only or everything together? I mean, obviously it’s going to be everything, but does Amazon by itself hit that?

Grace:

Or not everything together? I mean yes, Amazon by itself hits that.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, so what’s number two then marketplace?

Grace:

Target.

Bradley Sutton:

Target over Walmart, what in the world?

Grace:

It is. It is.

Bradley Sutton:

What? That’s a shocker.

Grace:

It is. But again, like I said, that we work with a lot more premium products and premium brands tend to lean more towards the Target customer rather than the Walmart customer. So it’s probably Amazon, Target, Walmart, TikTok, right now, but that will probably change pretty rapidly.

Bradley Sutton:

For TikTok, where is the inventory coming from for the orders. Are you doing fulfilled by TikTok or is it coming from Amazon?

Grace:

No, we’re doing MCF from Amazon FBA centers. We can also drop ship from our own 3PLs as well, but we like MCF cause it’s easier on us.

Bradley Sutton:

Amazon strategies. You know like things are changing on Amazon. New data points you know come out like search query performance and new things in product opportunity. Explore just in the day, today, things of Amazon. What new things is part of your SOPs now. That maybe wasn’t there two years ago. Or maybe you just think you’ve got some unique strategies even on something that’s been around for a while because you know you can’t get to nine figures without having some cool unique strategies. That’s setting you apart from the competition.

Grace:

Yeah, I love using the Product Opportunity Explorer. It’s now a daily part of what I do. I also use it to do competitive research, which might be a little bit different. So grabbing an ASIN that I’m interested in learning more about and looking at the customer insights, specifically around returns, which is a hot button topic, obviously, with this new fee coming into place with if your return rate is higher than what the threshold of the category is, there’s new fees that come into play. So, just understanding what those negative insights are about your competing products and taking advantage of those in your content and I mean in your second image or in your first bullet point has been something that’s worked really well for us. And as I’m going and I’m potentially auditing a new brand partner or I’m doing a pitch for new business, I’m always looking at that. I think the data that Amazon’s been able to provide there is really useful and we’ve never had that access before. It’s always been like here’s how much they sell directionally. Here’s what their seller ranking is. Here’s the keywords that they rank on.

Grace:

Here’s what the keyword sales are but, like, the actual sentiment from the customers is really interesting. And something that we like to use in our content

Bradley Sutton:

Favorite Helium 10 tool and why?

Grace:

I like the Cerebro. I love doing keyword research, as we just talked about and I think, finding those niche keywords and using those in your PPC. Even though it’s an old strategy, it works and it’s always changing and not everyone has auto campaigns anymore, so it’s something that’s really important to do and I still like to do it because I love to know, like, what’s changing. And another, really important, like leading or trailing indicator either one would be like branded search around your competitors branded search, so just understanding how many people less are searching for your competitors versus you. I think that provides a really unique opportunity to win.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. If I were to give you the keys to the Helium 10 Product Roadmap. Something you know like hey, you’re in charge of all of our product team a tool or a feature or a function that we don’t have that you need, what would it be?

Grace:

I have two, okay, I think I asked about this already but Target Plus. I’d love to get a plugin, cause I love your dashboard, where I can see, like all my different marketplaces US, Canada, Mexico, Walmart all of that rolled up into one. I know it’s probably still far out, but that would be really cool to be able to see that. Maybe TikTok shop I don’t know if that’s coming or maybe

Bradley Sutton:

What would help on TikTok shop specifically?

Grace:

I really like the sales product performance. That’s like when I come in the morning I’m like what sold yesterday. That’s where I’m looking okay and that’s probably my favorite part about selling on Amazon is just seeing what’s selling and how I can sell more of it. And then the second piece of it would be a Walmart ask. I know there’s a tool where we’re able to see kind of what the sales are on the listings for Walmart. I think there’s probably opportunity to get that tool just sharpened a little bit so we really can see where the opportunity is on Walmart. I think there’s still a lot of questions from everyone on like who’s winning on Walmart? Like we know like CPGs are winning, but what brands are winning? There’s a lot of information about amazon brands who are winning, but I think Walmart’s still a little bit of a Black Box. So any tools that are available from an Amazon perspective, rolling those out and sharpening them for Walmart, would be great too.

Bradley Sutton:

Cool, cool, all right. So, what other strategies can you help people with out there who you know like, obviously it. You know somebody might be listening to this and like, well, what does this apply to me? I’m not a nine figure, I’m not even an eight figure or even seven figure seller, but some strategies that you’re doing that, hey, even if somebody’s new on Amazon or maybe you know six figure seller, they could. They could definitely be doing something you haven’t mentioned yet today.

Grace:

Yeah, I think I’m going to speak to specifically the apparel and footwear and jewelry sellers out there. It’s really hard to manage the assortment and I know I manage the 50,000 ASIN count, but we’ve developed processes internally to make that a lot easier. And I know catalog management is probably a hot button topic for all those apparel sellers out there. Managing sizes, colors, widths, all of that, tracking the variations that’s something we can help with. So, whether it’s managing variations, bringing them into one listing, separating them out, testing variation strategy, that’s something that’s kind of niche that we do all the time with our footwear brands to see how we can gain more share of shelf or share of click on different keywords, mostly branded. And then there’s also way different style guidelines for apparel and footwear and we’ve learned how to harness those and utilize those to the best of our abilities. So just know that you don’t have to do that on your own. There’s agencies and sellers out there that specialize in just that and can help you free up your time to work on the strategic stuff and we can handle the catalog management side of it.

Bradley Sutton:

Last question I guess would be you know, I’m assuming maybe you might use some AI things, especially having to manage so many listings like have you leverage AI in your amazon management business and, if so, how?

Grace:

Yes, we’ve definitely started utilizing it from a copy perspective. We use a bunch of different AI tools, but one thing that’s worked for us is taking our keyword research, plugging it into pick the engine that you want to use, give them your product description and have them help at least get a starting point for what your bullet points and your title should be. It just saves so much time instead of sitting there and being like okay, here are my keywords, here’s what I want to say, but I don’t need to type all of it out on my own. So, yes, it’s not going to be perfect, but it’s a great place to start and, honestly, a great place to start with really anything, whether it’s Amazon copy images or even just writing an email to a brand partner or a proposal to leadership it. Leadership Like it’s just a super helpful tool that’ll save time across the board.

Bradley Sutton:

Cool. Cool. All right. Last non-Amazon question. I see your Instagram. You’re traveling a lot, favorite travel spots and what’s on the bucket list for you that you haven’t been to?

Grace:

Oh, my gosh. Okay. So recently my friends and I rented a beach house in Oak Island, North Carolina. It’s like a tiny little town on the coast, but it was so beautiful and so fun and it was like a great way to disconnect. We literally saw dolphins from our balcony. It’s like so cool.

Bradley Sutton:

Wow.

Grace:

So that was really fun. I was just kind of wholesome and nice to be able to unplug a little bit, although I never truly unplugged because slightly addicted to selling on amazon. Um, that’s why we’re here, right. And then, in terms of bucket list, I’ve never been to Europe, which is crazy. I need to get to Italy. I’m such a wine person, I’m such a like I love food. So that is on my bucket list. I hope I can get out in the next few years.

Bradley Sutton:

Maybe get your boss to send you to. We’re doing a it’s not Italy, but nearby to Madrid. End of May we are doing a workshop, high-end workshop, in Madrid. So, that could be an opportunity to business expense for your company and learn some new strategies. And you get to, you know, maybe make a side trip to Italy on your own dime. So if anybody else is interested, I’ll know. I going to try and get Grace to go. h10.me/elitespain. It’s open to everybody to join. All right, well, Grace, thank you so much for coming on here. It’s been great to see all that you’ve accomplished on Amazon. I wish you the best of success in the future and maybe we’ll bring you back on and let’s see how you know how deep into the hundreds of millions that your company has been able to sell next year.

Grace:

I want to plug. I have an amazing team. This is not just me. I just happen to be the voice of them so I want to make sure I give them a shout out too.

Bradley Sutton:

If somebody wants to like maybe find you on the interwebs. I mean you can be incognito if you want, you don’t have to answer this. But how can they find you out there?

Grace:

Yeah, so if you’re interested in services from PowerPlay, powerplayretail.com, find us on LinkedIn. Otherwise, you can find me on Instagram or LinkedIn. I’m also like a LinkedIn crazy person, so I will respond probably in the first one minute but that’s the easiest way to reach me.

Bradley Sutton:

Is the founder of your company, like a hockey fan or something. Is that the name? Is that where PowerPlay comes from?

Grace:

I get that question a lot. No, but we always like use that as kind of like a hook, and we’re also in Minnesota so hockey and Minnesota.

Bradley Sutton:

So that’s what I was about to say. Minnesota is a hockey. Yeah, okay, all right, well, Grace.

Grace:

PowerPlay Hockey Jerseys, so I will say.

Bradley Sutton:

Hey, you know me about my Helium 10 jersey, so I’m all about those jerseys. All right. Well, thank you so much for joining us and I hope to see you at maybe what Amazon Accelerate in Seattle, where’s the next one.

Grace:

Yeah, I’ll be at Accelerate. I’ll be bopping around to different conferences but maybe I’ll see you in Spain.

Bradley Sutton:

Hey, let’s do it. Let’s do it, all right, we’ll see you later, Grace.


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Director of Training & Chief Evangelist

Bradley is the Director of Training and Chief Evangelist for Helium 10 as well as the host of the most listened to podcast in the world for Amazon sellers, the Serious Sellers Podcast. He has been involved in e-commerce for over 20 years, and before joining Helium 10, launched over 400 products as a consultant for Amazon Sellers.

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