#462 – PPC Tips, Pivoting Product Niche, & More!

Video of the episode at the bottom

In this episode, we welcome back the dynamic duo, Shan Shan Fu and Schrone Hardeman. These two amazing Amazon sellers have been making waves in the industry with their strategies and success. In our exclusive interview, we caught up with Shan Shan and Schrone to find out what they’ve been up to lately. They shared insights into how Schrone keeps his profits steady and how Shan Shan’s brands are performing today.
 
Additionally, they discussed a lot of PPC strategies and tips. Schrone also addressed the common fear of overspending in PPC and shared his best tips for new sellers. Shan Shan highlighted the importance of networking in her business journey and discussed the challenges faced in selling inside women’s clothing categories.
 
The “Tripe-S Crew” is back and ready to inspire and empower sellers once again, so stay tuned for more groundbreaking strategies and achievements from this dynamic duo.

In episode 462 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Bradley, Schrone, and Shan Shan discuss: 

  • 01:26 – Let’s Welcome Back The “S Crew”  
  • 02:14 – What Is Shan Shan & Schrone Up To These Days
  • 04:03 – How Schrone Keeps His Profits Steady
  • 07:39 – Diving Into The Market Share Inside His Category
  • 10:26 – How Shan Shan’s Brands Are Performing Today
  • 13:06– There Are Two Types Of Sellers…
  • 14:14 – The Amazon PPC Math Technique
  • 19:11 – Dividing Your PPC Into Two Cycles
  • 25:23 – “My Student Has A Fear Of Overspending in PPC”
  • 28:38 – Schrone’s Best Tips For New Sellers
  • 30:14 – How Networking Helped Shan Shan’s Business
  • 31:25 – Problems In Selling Inside Women’s Categories
  • 32:55 – “The Opportunity Is Disguised As A Setback”
  • 33:57 – Benefiting From The “Taylor Swift Economy”
  • 35:15 – How To Reach Out To Schrone Hardeman
  • 35:22 – How To Reach Out To Shan Shan Fu

Transcript

Bradley Sutton:

Today, we’ve got some former guests back on the show to talk PPC strategy and more. Now, both have inspired others on previous episodes with their story of how they became Amazon Sellers. One was a military veteran turned six figure seller, and the other, an immigrant to the United States, who recently has had her clothing line featured along the likes of Louis Vuitton. How cool is that? Pretty cool I think.

Bradley Sutton:

Did you know that Amazon sometimes loses or damages some of your inventory? Usually they reimburse you for this, but sometimes they might miss things. That’s where Refund Genie comes in. What Helium Ten’s Refund Genie does is we go check out your reports and see if Amazon owes you any money, and then we give you the reports that you need to submit to Amazon so that you can get your money back. If you haven’t run this, you can have hundreds, if not thousands of dollars that Amazon might owe you, especially if you’ve never used this before and you sell a lot on Amazon. So, to find out more information, go to h10.me/refundgenie. Hello everybody, and welcome to another episode of the Series Sellers podcast by Helium 10. I’m your host, Bradley Sutton. And this is the show that’s a completely BS free unscripted and unrehearsed organic conversation about serious strategies for serious sellers of any level in the e-commerce world.

Bradley Sutton:

We’ve got a couple serious sellers back on the show, and I like to call this show kind of like the, the Triple S show. You know, like at Helium 10, we’ve got tons of, of S’s everywhere. First of all, this is the Serious Sellers podcast. We’ve got the Serious Sellers Club. We had Sell and Scale Summit. You know, to go along with that, we’ve got Sean Chan and Sharan Triple S. I’ll almost start wearing my Triple S sneaker today. I got my s hat, I got, I got the, the s logo here on my jacket. This is actually the logo of the DJ Slushy who makes our opening for the podcast that little song that you guys hear. So we’re just all about the s today. How’s it going? My Triple S crew?

Schrone:

Yeah, it’s great. What’s going on with you, Bradley?

Shan Shan:

Hey, Bradley.

Bradley Sutton:

I’m doing just great. Awesome. Now, you’re still in Texas. I see you there on the famous the famous sofa there. Shan Shan, didn’t you move recently? You’re not in California anymore, are you?

Shan Shan:

No, I left San Francisco and now I’m in Miami/New York.

Bradley Sutton:

I think everybody from California is moving to to Florida, and I dunno about New York. I don’t hear about much people moving to New York, but but Florida for sure, Texas, a lot of people are moving to. Whereabouts in New York? I used to live in New York back in the day.

Shan Shan:

Oh. So there’s a thing called Snowbird, where you live in New York in the summer and Miami in the winter. So I don’t have a place place, but I have a sublet at the Upper East Side. So, yeah, just I’m actually hosting an e-commerce dinner tonight at Soho House. So trying to penetrate this e-commerce world in New York, which is quite robust.

Bradley Sutton:

Cool, cool. All right. Now we’re not gonna go too much into everybody’s backs stories. This is actually between them, about the third or fourth time they’ve been on the they’ve been on the podcast now. The last time they were on the podcast, they were actually, you know, they’ve been on the podcast by themselves before, but the last time I had them on together and that was the first time they had even met each other. That was episode 344. So if you guys want to catch up with what they were doing a little over a year ago, then check out episode 344. But I said, Hey, let, let’s bring them back. You know, it’s been a year. Let’s see what exciting things these individuals have been doing. And, and not only do they still sell themselves, but they also, have branched out more and more to, to helping other sellers. And so, like, I like talking to people who are in the industry like that because they, they sometimes you know, come across a lot more things than just if we were working by the by ourselves. So let’s start with Schrone. First of all, how how’s your own business been going the last year? So kind of steady, we down, we up, what’s going on?

Schrone:

Okay. So a revelation came about, you know, after the the Great Depression called Covid, you know, where everybody was quarantined me being in the maternity area and the people having nothing left to do but procreate. So I had a boom during the covid and didn’t realize it was because of Covid. So last year, the last two years I’ve had a drop, but I’ve been steady. And the reason I’ve been steady is because of how I maintain my profit. The way I do profit is I use the previous year’s profit for the current year’s salary. That way I can never go under, you know?

Bradley Sutton:

Okay.

Schrone:

So for the last two years, I’ve been pretty much steady at a decrease from 2021.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. So your profit then is steady, but your revenue is maybe down a little bit you’re saying?

Schrone:

Right. I’ve dropped from about 450,000 a year to about 300,000 a year.

Bradley Sutton:

Now, did you suffer, like on the inventory side, like maybe you didn’t plan for that, or, and thenyou suffered a little bit extra inventory, or, or how did that work out for you?

Schrone:

So, yeah, because I did not recognize it was a boom for me. I did pre over order. So hey, some of the troubles that you gotta overcome is access inventory, and I currently have about 1500 units in my garage next door.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Now for you I know you’ve had like different variations of your products. Didn’t you launch like a separate line, or, or is it still pretty much you have one product and just a whole bunch of different variations?

Schrone:

So last year, I launched a premium version of the same product that I have maternity bills. Okay. It’s a little bit more expensive and it gives the, the mom a lot more support. That launch has been slow, but it has not been a failure. So I’m waiting on that to pick up and move with that. But it is a premium version of the same product with more colors and more sciences.

Bradley Sutton:

Have you looked into expanding the brand out or possibly starting another, another brand, or you’re kind of just like happy, happy where you are right now since you are profitable and plug it along?

Schrone:

So the, the purpose for me to start my whole business was to support my family. And by the grace of God, I’m doing that right now. And I this may sound weird to a lot of people, but I do not have high ambitions of becoming rich. Right. I’ll take it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take it. But I don’t have high ambitions of becoming rich. I am very happy that I’m able to take care of my family and that’s where I’m at right now.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Okay. Interesting. Now you know, for your niche, I’m not sure if you’re using like the regular market tracker or not, but like, have you been, been checking, like, are you keeping kind of like your market share, but just, you know, the size of the pie has gone down? Or your slice of the pie gone down in addition to the whole entire pie?

Schrone:

So my, my biggest thing is finding out why. So when I dropped in salary or dropped in revenue, I had to discover the why. And in that process I did find out that the whole category dropped. So it was definitely an economic reset, if you will, instead of me just losing profits. So everybody across the board dropped about 30% down, dropped down about 30%. So as far as ratio of the pie, I still have that being one of the top five sellers in my category. But everybody has dropped.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Now, sometimes when, when you’ve got mature products, you know, and I say mature, like, like you’ve, you know, you’ve, you’ve been there about three, four years. Now, you know, like if there’s a successful niche out there, a lot of people kind of figure that every single time it’ll just get saturated with sellers from factories, you know, be it, be it from China, be it from India, be it from wherever and you’re not gonna be able to sell anymore at a decent price. And, you know, I’ve actually had a couple of, of smaller niches where we’re just got, you know, to the point where it wasn’t profitable as much. Now, you know, you’re still plugging along, you’ve kept your slice of the pie. So has that not happened, or you haven’t gotten involved in any price wars or how come you are still selling the same product that, that you were, you know, three, four years ago?

Schrone:

Yeah. So that, that was a major concern for concern for me about two years ago. We did have a rush of new sellers, possibly from factory, and they were selling at half the price. And I was thinking like, I have two options. Stay strong with my integrity of the value that I see from my product or succumb to what the category is pushing towards. Well I’m thankful that before that happened, I found my category before that happened and the process, or the time before it happened, I, I gathered six thou almost f almost 6,000 reviews. Which gives me the social proof to keep my prices where they’re at. And I have not raised my prices or lowered them for five years, and I’m still able to sell based off the strength of my brand.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Cool. Now let’s switch to Shan Shan on there. You know, similar to Schrone, you had a product that was kind of boomed also by, by Covid, you know, like masks, I remember way back in the day. But you know, you, you, you, you saw the writing on the wall a long time ago and were already pivoting away. What about you, the la the last, the last couple of years? Like, how, how have your brands been doing lately?

Shan Shan:

Yeah, so the last time I talked to you guys, my face mask sales, which was my first product was tanking. And I had to desperately get a new sustainable product category up there before it totally tanked. And I did it, I tripled sales from my non mask products since last time I saw you guys. But the face mask went to zero. Cause face masks went down, but everything else went up. It’s still, there was an overall increase, but not by a lot. But it showed me that your sales can triple and if it can triple this year, I’m on track to at least double. And then some fun things have been happening. New York Times reached out and asked me to send mys to a Ghana to a fashion shoot in Ghana where I was going to be paired up with like Louis Vuitton and Chanel and all the big brands on their big winter accessories feature. So the, so in it’s hilarious, in the, in the feature says Louis Vuitton dress, $5,000 Chanel sweater, you know, $2,000 and millennials emotion types $15.

Bradley Sutton:

That’s something you’ve always been good at that, you know, for those who don’t know, like two episodes ago when we, we first did her fullback story, that was how I how she got on our radar is I actually saw her on kind of TV as it where it was like CNBC or, or one, one of these shows did a special on her story, and then she had mentioned Helium 10 in there, you know, using Helium 10. And I was like, but you seem to like have this magnetism towards getting featured by, by big media here.

Shan Shan:

Thanks. Yeah, it’s an honor. And and I guess, you know, what I came out of that is, hey, fashion that’s edgy for millennials and Gen Z can be affordable too. So that was fun. And now I live in Miami and New York and trying to build a community with other e-commerce founders in the area as well.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, cool. Now last time you, you were giving us some, some, some cool strategies about how you kind of like do your product validation on Etsy. Are you still doing that where you try and launch first on Etsy and then hit some certain numbers before you go to Amazon? Or are you just doing both simultaneous or what’s your strategy, your marketplace strategy these days?

Shan Shan:

Yes. So I realized that there’s two types of sellers in this world and I’m gonna really simplify it. Their sellers are very conservative and they just expand within their existing successful niche. Just like little variation changes here and there, and it’ll succeed and it’ll make more money, but it’s not gonna make that much more money. Then there’s sellers that go really hard on one product. They launch one product and put ton of ad spend and ton of capital in it, and just like, fingers crossed and succeeds. And sometimes it does, and it catapults. But that, that requires high capital. It’s high risk. So I couldn’t figure out which one I wanted to do. So instead I decided to do both, and I launched simultaneously more women’s clothing, which is arguably one of the toughest categories. And then I also decided very recently to launch in non clothing categories as well. And, and we’ll see how that goes. It hasn’t launched yet. Next time I come back, Bradley, I would love to tell you how that went.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, cool. Let’s I know both of you guys have, have a lot of strategy or a lot of, you know, opinions and things behind this next topic, but I wanted to talk a little PPC. So let’s start with Schrone. Now you mentioned something in our group chat you know, kinda like, I guess one of your own terms, but, but it’s something that that could apply, but you said PPC math, you know, so that’s not exactly a common term. You know, that that’s common in the Amazon industry, but, but I kind of like the sound of it because it’s like, all right, good. Well, we’re gonna talk about something some a little bit unique here. So, so what do you define as PPC math Schrone, and how does

Schrone:

That help you? Right. So yeah, that is something that I coined and it’s very, it’s once you know what it is that aha moment, right? Because when I’m in the Helium 10 Facebook groups chatting, and I see people that say, you know, my budget has gone in the first three hours of the day and I got this, that, and the other, they don’t understand why. And they think, and the first thing they say is, competitors are clicking my ads. And that is not always true. You know, I’m not saying it’s completely false, but it’s not always true. And then I say, well, here again, why does that happen? And when I coin PPC math, I, I tend to teach my students that you have to be mindful of how much budget you spend, how much the average click is per keyword or product target that you’re, that you’re targeting, and what is the strength of the search volume for that keyword that you’re looking at, or category that you’re searching in.

Schrone:

And when you put all that together, you can find out exactly what’s gonna happen. So here’s some quick math. I I think I can do it in my head. Let’s say you have a category or a campaign that has one keyword in it that has 30,000 searches a month. Okay? And, okay, stay with me on the math here. Check me on the math. So if I divide that 30,000 by 30 days, that’s 1000 searches per month, I mean, per day, excuse me. Right? The average shopper is gonna shop, and this is a number that I made up around 14, 15 hours a day, somewhere between 7:00 AM and, you know, 9:00 PM and then you got, you know, on the average, right? So if you divide that thousand searches per day by 15 hours, you get, I don’t know, let’s do some outrageous math and say you get a hundred clicks per hour.

Schrone:

So if you got a hundred clicks per hour, and you’re targeting that keyword that produces a hundred clicks per hour, and that keyword is according to Amazon, expensive at $2 a click, that’s not expensive, but you get what I’m saying, right? Yeah. So to to gather all those clicks at the top spot, you would need at least 200 bucks per hour, right? And our budgets are like, you know, for some campaigns, 30 bucks a day, 40 bucks a day, and if you get in the top spots and there’s a hundred people per hour clicking that, if you do the math and the frenzy of it all, you’re going to get clicked out. And that’s just one keyword that you may have in that 15 keyword campaign. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And when people realize that, it’s like, oh, I don’t have enough budget for this $2 average cl keyword that gets a hundred clicks per hour based on the numbers. And that’s where you decide to figure out what keywords you really want and how much you can afford and what to expect from it, especially in your position, because, you know, the first page, the top half gets about 90% of the clicks.

Bradley Sutton:

I mean, so then in that situation, let’s say maybe you can’t afford to keep that budget higher. Do you just go ahead and run out of budget on that at 10:00 AM and, and be cool with that, or, you know, if it’s profitable or, or you try and do something else.

Schrone:

So that’s the thing. If it’s profitable, hell yes. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, you know, it, it, you never quit something that’s profitable.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Just making sure, you know, people do some crazy things out there, <laugh>,

Schrone:

If, if, but you gotta figure out if it’s profitable. If it’s just draining your profits and you know you’re wasting your money, then sure, decrease the bid or x the keyword until you’re able to, to afford it. But if it’s profitable, let’s go forward. Three hours a day.

Bradley Sutton:

All right. Shan Shan, let, let’s switch back to you now. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but are, are you not working for a PPC agency now since the last time that we that we talked?

Shan Shan:

I used to so I spent a year working with Trivium. Okay. And I talked to over a hundred Amazon sellers every day about their business. But currently I, I just work on my brand.

Bradley Sutton:

So then I, but I would imagine though, in the year, you know, wor you know, when you’re not just focused on your own brand you, like you said, you’re talking to so many people that your eyes were kind of maybe open to, to a whole bunch of other a whole bunch of other things that, that, you know, were going on in the PPC world. So what about you for the last year, either your own brand or from all these conversations you were having, what, what kind of, you know, insights, new insights did you get into p c or, or unique strategies that, that you’ve got?

Shan Shan:

Yeah, so I hear a lot about people not able to scale. They have their, their PPC is basically just going like this. And one strategy to scale is to divide your PPC into two cycles. So in cycle one, you focus on impressions. That’s where you train Amazon to bring you as much relevant traffic as possible. And a lot of the sellers I talked to would basically have Amazon throttle them by having really low budgets, like $10 per campaign per day. But you shouldn’t do that. Instead, you should have a hundred dollars per campaign per day, not because you’re actually gonna spend a hundred dollars, you’ll manually manage to add, spend yourself or, or somebody else will. But if you put a hundred, Amazon won’t throttle you. They won’t make a judgment and say, oh, this is a small seller, so we’re only gonna give her a tiny pie piece of the pie.

Shan Shan:

So one, teach Amazon not to throttle you and get as much impressions as possible. Then cycle two, you focus on profit, that’s when you cut down on ad spend, remove all the wasted spend and try to get your a cost as low as possible. And when you do that, the benefit is one, you only have one goal, so it’s easier to measure. And two, if you do it successfully, what will happen is it’ll goal like this cycle one, cycle two, cycle one, cycle two, and it go up in an upward trend because it’s not confusing for Amazon. If you try to do profit and impressions at the same time, you’re adding as you’re cutting. It’s confusing for Amazon as opposed to really just helping them help you scale up.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Interesting. Interesting. Now that’s you know, that, that’s something that I think, you know, sometimes people are scared and that’s why I ask you know, Schrone about that, because, you know, sometimes it’s, it’s a matter of you, you gotta, you gotta raise the, you gotta have high budgets just as seemingly sometimes, you know, get, get Amazon to move on on some things, but it doesn’t always mean that, that, you know, that’s, that’s what you’re gonna hit. So without hitting the budget, so how else are you, are you controlling your, your spend? Are, are you just talking about like, like do you, what if it does, what if it does start getting a little bit outta control and, and it’s not profitable at the beginning? Like, like how do you draw the line where like, obviously none of us wanna lose money, but, you know, hey, my plan is to do about 50 bucks a day, so I’m gonna put my budget to a hundred.

Bradley Sutton:

And of course, you know, may, maybe it just does, you know, $50 a day and, and I’m, I’m good to go. I’ve, I’ve, I’ve hit my goal. But what if, you know, especially in a newer one where it might get a little bit outta control, you know, like, what, what do you do in order to, to make sure that you stay profitable? Because, you know, you can’t, you can’t really control Amazon all, all too much. They can take your, your, especially if we’re dealing with broad campaigns and, and auto campaigns, you know, they can start getting going wild with you, with your, with your placements

Shan Shan:

A daily attention be on it every single day, which is hard for a lot of people who have second jobs because you’ve got to remove any keyword that hits a certain threshold. And because, you know, at that point, this is not a winning keyword. So, for example, for me it’s $7. $7 if there’s a keyword and it hits $7 worth of clicks and it didn’t get any sales, I kill it forever. It’s gone from all my campaigns. And so just be ruthless, you know, and I found that, you know, it’s fairly consistent when it’s a key word, specific keyword word. Where it gets tough is abroad in the auto campaigns right there, you’re gonna have so many key words that you’re not gonna know. You know exactly how to control it. So in that instance, you know, I just, it’s kind of similar.

Shan Shan:

I just ruthlessly cut broad keywords after certain thresholds. If it doesn’t get enough sales, if I spend $30 on a broad keyword and it doesn’t get any sales, then I kill it for a certain amount of time, say four months. And then I, maybe I’ll bring it back if, if in the past it’s seemed to be a success, cuz it might be a seasonal thing. So you can kind of cycle through. But I wouldn’t keep spending on a broad keyword or phrase or exact that keeps wasting money. I only spend on the ones that are winning. And yeah, you might lose some keywords that would’ve eventually got well, but in my industry, in women’s clothing, I don’t have the luxury of margin.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Cool. Now switching back to Schrone. You know, with the coaching and things that you do, you talked to a, a lot of people, a anybody over the last couple of years like has some other kind of like, inspiring story or like motivates you, you know, like I, I think that that’s what a lot of us definitely thrive off of is, is like hearing other people’s stories. And it’s, sometimes, sometimes it’s more exciting to see somebody you know, thrive, you know, even than your own success. Sometimes any anybody’s stories stick out in the mind or like, somebody started here, now they’re here. Or anything like that.

Schrone:

I have a student who was fear driven and their decisions were based off of how scared they were to make that leap. To make that jump. And one of my hardest things is being a transparent coach that I am is showing them your flaws and as well as your successes, your failures, as well as your successes to see to tell them that it’s gonna be okay if you keep pushing forward and you keep pushing forward smartly. One of the things that we went over was her, her, her, their fear of overspending on PPC. And the way I got her to, well, it’s Ahi, so I’m a, I’m gonna use her. The way I got her to commit to ppc was to give her an understanding of what PPC actually is. Her concept of thinking when she came in is, if I throw money into advertisement, I’m gonna get sales.

Schrone:

Right? And my, I had to break it down to her and I said, that’s not entirely true. Right? The purpose of PPC is exactly in its name, prices per click. The purpose of it is to get you clicks your listing. The purpose of your listing is to convert that viewer into a buyer. So if you’re not, if you’re getting clicks, then your advertisement is working. If you’re not getting sales, then your listing isn’t converting that viewer into a buyer. So when I brought that to her attention, she was getting all the clicks that she wanted, but she wasn’t getting the sales. So now we transition to her listing as to why aren’t, why isn’t your listing converting that viewer into a, a customer? Right? And it’s social proof, and we fixed on that stuff right there, but once she understood that, then she wasn’t afraid to spend money because she now knows that she’s spending money in advertisement to get the clicks to bring people to her listing. Right? If, if the pur, if the sole purpose of advertisement or PPC particularly was to get sales, then you would have a buy now button on the search result page. But we don’t, so the purpose, yeah,

Bradley Sutton:

You never know. Amazon’s been testing so much stuff, you never know what the, that that search results page, oh my goodness, there seems like there’s something new on there every day, but hey day, right? They might’ve just heard you and come up with a new idea there. Hey, I hope so. No, I I’ll follow you, I’ll follow you here.

Schrone:

Yeah. That the faster Right. We can get a viewer to buy, I’m awful. Yeah, right. But once she realized that, then she realized that her money for advertisement had a, a bigger purpose mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, and now she can focus her attention on fixing her listing. And sure enough, two months later, she was getting more sales.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Now what about just general strategies for yourself, for your students? What are some new unique things that maybe we haven’t talked about on this podcast about, you know, you, you, it could be about PPC since we’ve been talking about PPC. It could be about launch, could be about your image strategy could be about other marketplaces, whatever you wanna talk about Toronto. What, what’s some unique quick hittings tips that you can give our listeners out there?

Schrone:

Oh, so I think the best tip that I can give any seller out there that I’ve given my students is understanding as much as you can about the next step before you take it. That being said, when, when you apply that concept to product research we like to use, I like to use Helium ten’s x-ray tool to get as much information about the category as a whole before deciding to sell in that category. And there’s a lot of different data that you could pull from Helium 10, particularly the x-ray tool that will give you an understanding of how much money that category brings in and how much your slice of the pie is going to potentially become. You know, I work off the law of averages as a st as a, as a, a foundation or baseline for what you could do in there, because I believe everybody’s at least average, right? You can be at least average. And if you can accept the numbers at average, then you can hit that as your standard and then excel beyond that. So my tip to all, all the listeners out there and always my students is learn as much as about learn as much as you can about the next step before you take it. Especially if the next step requires you to spend a lot large sum of money.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Shan Shan, what about you? Si, similar question as far as the first one I just asked Schrone is, is, you know, in dealing with, you know, talking to so many sellers, a a as you, as you have over the last year, any inspiring stories stick out in your in your mind?

Shan Shan:

You know I recently joined a forum called E-Commerce Fuel and I, I’m all about building community. I’ve been hosting dinners in happy hours in San Francisco, Miami, and New York. And through my networking I have really learned a lot of the strategies, the tips that I wouldn’t have learned elsewhere. And I wish I had been more engaged from the beginning. Cause I would’ve saved myself a lot of mistakes. So really my tip is just to get engaged. You know, reach out to me if you wanna join my dinners reach out to me if you’re female and an e-commerce founder, cause it’s an underrepresented group and we’ll help each other get there because you know, Amazon’s always changing, you know, they, they screw me a couple times over the last year, but with some help, you can always get past it.

Bradley Sutton:

I think you had mentioned you had alluded to something that happened to you on, on the negative side in the last year. That’s probably what you dressed alluding to now, but I didn’t get details on it. So what, what was that negative thing that happened to you?

Shan Shan:

Yes. The reason why women’s clothing is one of the worst categories is sizing. And women tend to return way more than men. Men buy something and just like never return it, but women return everything. So 20% is low for return rate, which is astronomical for regular am Amazon product. So if you’re dealing with 20% returns, how do you make profit? Right? and with sizing, I’ve, there was some products where you know, women tried on and it didn’t fit them and they would give it a bad review and complain. And then Amazon saw enough complaints that they just took all my inventory from that number one best seller and moved it to reserved and said, you know what? You have to upload a size chart and and then we’ll release your inventory. One inventory go on is very bar for ranking, right?

Shan Shan:

I know warning about that. And when I upload the size chart immediately, because I, you know, want my product to go back up, it took them over a month, two months for me to move their, the reserved inventory back into standard available inventory. So Amazon loves to throw these curve walls, and what I learned is that I have to diversify. I can’t just have one best seller. I can’t just have one product line, women’s clothing, you know, I need to have other types. So one of my favorite mantras is sometimes a opportunity is disguise as a setback. And that was a setback. I lost a lot of sales from that one main bestseller, probably half the sales from that product. But from that, I was more motivated to launch other products and hopefully double or triple my sales next year. And it wouldn’t have happened if Amazon didn’t screw me a little.

Bradley Sutton:

There you go. Sometimes a a good thing can come out of a negative thing. Now, you know, I was just looking at your, your storefront right now. I see that your, your, your pattern tights I is selling like, I don’t know it looks like, you know, 10, 20, 30 units a day, sometimes even now. How come those took off? Is this the one that a, that that Amazon had had shut down? Or why do you think that this product is doing, you know, better than, than your other product lines

Shan Shan:

Partially due to Taylor Swift. So there’s a thing called Taylor Swift Economy right now. I had one pro, i i, I keep launching products every year. You gotta keep launching products to, to stay on top of it in women’s clothing. And some of the products look similar to what Taylor Swift would wear on in concerts. And Taylor Swift has filled hotels in the cities that she’s been at more so than like, major sports events. She has driven economies, she’s kept people spending like, I think they call a Swift, swift economy or something like that. And yeah, some of my products sales just went up suddenly because, hey, Taylor Swift is promoting it and all the girls want it. So I didn’t even know about that. And that kind of made me realize, you know what, I should really keep an eye on stuff like that, you know? Is there a huge celebrity that’s wearing a certain look? Is there a big cultural event happening where everybody wants this type of design? Because if I had known, I would’ve doubled down on those products. But still I got to ride the wave.

Bradley Sutton:

Cool. Cool. All right. Now, Schrone, like if people wanna reach out to you find you on the interwebs how can they do that?

Schrone:

amzpowercircle.com, all one word, amzpowercircle.com.

Bradley Sutton:

And Shan Shan, how can people reach out to you on the interwebs?

Shan Shan:

You can add me on LinkedIn Shan Shan Fu or you can email me [email protected] millennial shops with an S at the end. And reach out to me if you want to get some PPC help if you want to join e-commerce field and you want six months free and you’re a female, or if you just wanna connect and come to my dinners.

Bradley Sutton:

Awesome. Awesome. Well it’s been great reaching out you know, to you guys. I hope I to be able to see you in person, you know, soon again. I think last time I saw you, Schrone, was probably at Sell and Scale. Yep. Last year and Shan Shan, were you at sell scale or when’s the last time I saw you might have been at a Prosper, a previous Prosper show.

Shan Shan:

Prosper. You were dancing to Mark McGrath.

Bradley Sutton:

Ah, yes, yes. I was a Prosper show, I believe. Okay. So hope to reach out to you guys. I’ll be going to New York later on this year, maybe Florida. So I’ll, I’ll see. I’ll see you over there. And Schrone, I know it’s, it’s tough to get you on an airplane sometimes, but, but hopefully I’ll be able to see you soon as well.

Schrone:

Yeah, man. I’m there whenever you need me.


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