Helium 10 Weekly Buzz 3/1/23: Amazon Crackdown | Target Plus | Walmart Review Strategy

We’re back with another episode of the Weekly Buzz with Helium 10’s Chief Brand Evangelist, Bradley Sutton. Every week, we cover the latest breaking news in the Amazon, Walmart, and E-commerce space, interview someone you need to hear from, and provide a training tip for the week. 
 

A Supplement Company ‘Hijacked’ Its Amazon Reviews to Boost Sales, According to the FTC.  
https://gizmodo.com/amazon-supplements-amazon-prime-bountiful-company-1850144346 
 
Amazon and Brother announce lawsuit to shut down Germany-based counterfeit ring. 
https://www.aboutamazon.eu/news/policy/amazon-and-brother-announce-lawsuit-to-shut-down-germany-based-counterfeit-ring 
 
Target bets on e-commerce by investing $100 million in hubs to speed up delivery. 
https://www.cnbc.com/2023/02/22/target-bets-on-e-commerce-invests-in-delivery-hubs.html 
 
Walmart Fulfillment Services Offers Incentives for New Sellers, Trust and Transparency for All. 
https://corporate.walmart.com/newsroom/2022/02/23/walmart-fulfillment-services-offers-incentives-for-new-sellers-trust-and-transparency-for-all 
 
Catch Bradley at Alibaba’s March Expo and make to join us for tomorrow’s free Elite webinar. Our episode continues with our Walmart Wednesday clip where Carrie asks our expert guest, Michael Lebhar, on his best strategies to get more reviews on Walmart. Bradley concludes this episode with the Pro Training tip of this week on how to use Helium 10’s Audience tool to A/B test your hero images and listings before you even put it up.

In this episode of the Helium 10 Weekly Buzz, Bradley talks about: 

  • 01:00 – Amazon Fake Reviews/Products Crackdown 
  • 05:00 – Target Investment 
  • 06:30 – Walmart WFS Incentives 
  • 07:00 – Catch Bradley At The Alibaba March Expo 
  • 07:30 – Join Us For The Free Elite Webinar 
  • 09:00 – How To Increase Your Reviews In Walmart 
  • 12:00 – Pro Training Tip: A/B Test Your Images Or Listings Before Putting It Up

Transcript

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 is our weekly buzz, where we give you news updates around the world of e-commerce, around Amazon, Walmart, and more. And we also give you trained tips of the week that’ll give you serious strategies for serious sellers of any level in the e-commerce world. Let’s see what’s buzzing. We’ve got a couple interesting news articles about Amazon cracking down on different things, and even, you know, taking legal actions against people who are scamming the system and doing fake reviews and counterfeit products and things like that. We’ve gotta update on maybe a marketplace you hadn’t thought about selling on. We’ve also got a training tip of the week that’ll help you really understand what kind of images your customer might want to see way before you even have a live listing. 

Bradley Sutton: 

And we’ve also got an interview about how to increase your Walmart.com reviews. Let’s go ahead and hop right into the news. The first article of the day it’s actually a couple articles we’re going to go over, and the first one is from Gizmoto, and it’s entitled, A Supplement Company Hijacked Its Amazon Reviews to Boost Sales according to the FTC. Now in this article it says that this bountiful, nature’s bounty or bountiful company, they had kind of done this manipulation that I think is, I don’t wanna say it’s commonplace, but you’ve probably heard a lot about, you know, like, look at this one product. They have almost 40,000 reviews according to this lawsuit or this judgment. They got fined $600,000 from the FTC, FTC guys is some entity you don’t want to mess with, and it’s review hijacking. 

Bradley Sutton: 

So what they would do according to this article is they would combine multiple product pages into one to artificially boost the number of reviews and star ratings on new or poorly performing items. So this is something that, you know, maybe you’ve seen people talk about, like private groups and things like that where, hey, let’s take this listing that may be like a older listing and it’s not being used anymore. And then let’s make this brand new product and this older listing has like 5,000 reviews and they’re all positive, and now we add this new product and then we merge it. And then so Amazon hopefully merges the reviews. That seems to be what is the case here. But regardless, guys, this just shows, hey, Amazon is not one to be, to be messed with when it comes to reviews. 

Bradley Sutton: 

And this company is now having to pay $600,000 because of this manipulation. So it’s not worth it, guys, you know, don’t do these tactics that people are doing, if you’ve got a supplement, you know, nobody wants to see reviews in this supplement where it’s like for a power bank or something like that. But that was what some companies are doing. And one of those companies just got caught along the same line, under the same kind of topic of Amazon cracking down on different things. The other article I have here is actually from Amazon. It’s from Amazon Europe. What happened was, it says they continue to take down bad actors wherever they operate with the company’s first joint civil lawsuit in Europe. All right, so this is not like FTC this is now the first time Amazon has actually joined with another company, a Brother company as it were actually, it’s the company that’s called Brother. 

Bradley Sutton: 

I believe they make they make printers, right? I used to have brother printers back in the day. But anyways, there were all this counterfeit ring, right? Who would sell fake toner cartridges for printers, I’m assuming for the Brother printer. And they would market it, market it as genuine products, but it was actually kind of like counterfeit, right? So this is interesting cuz this is the first known time, at least in Europe where Amazon joined together with a major brand and filed this lawsuit jointly, right? So this is something to watch out for I don’t think any of you guys are doing, hopefully not, you know, producing counterfeit products, but this is now a step that Amazon is starting to take where they’ll, they’ll join with the actual company, you know, the actual brand rights owner, and then go ahead and file lawsuits against these companies. 

Bradley Sutton: 

It says, this article goes on and say Amazon’s CCU, I dunno what CCU stands for. I’m assuming they’re criminal crimes unit or something like that. Works closely with law enforcement and brand partners around the world to investigate illicit trade activity. It’s filed a series of lawsuits, accounts counterfeiters in partnership with brands such as GoPro, Valentino, Cartier, I don’t know if you’re supposed to say that, Cartier or whatever. And many others more on Amazon’s efforts to protect brands and hold bad actors accountable can be found in Amazon’s latest brand protection report. So again, Europe, USA, Amazon is cracking down on fake reviews, fake products. If you guys are engaged in that behavior, I’m sure you’re not just be worn. Amazon is not liking that kind of stuff. All right, let’s completely switch gears now to another marketplace and it’s actually Target. 

Bradley Sutton: 

All right? So this article came from CNBC and it says target bets on e-commerce by investing a hundred million in hubs to speed up its delivery. Now the interesting thing is, most of this article was not about the Target plus, which is kind of like the third party marketplace, but it was mainly about like Target ramping up efforts on their own, like distribution network for like their just regular target.com orders. A hundred million dollars are investing in it in order to speed up delivery times and things like that. But this is notable because as Target beefs up their delivery network, their distribution network, their warehouse network, there’s gonna be trickle down effects for like third party sellers who are using Target especially those who are selling on their Target Plus program, where now it might be more of a lucrative opportunity to, to sell on Target because if more people are start shopping on target.com because they’re, they’re getting more happy with the delivery times and, and the experience, well, that’s gonna open up more opportunity for third party sellers. 

Bradley Sutton: 

And people usually nowadays don’t really talk about Target as being an option for selling. You know, people just talk about Amazon and Walmart, but who knows, maybe soon the, the next marketplace that might be a somewhere to sell on will be Target. Thanks to moves like this and their investments that they’re making in the marketplace. All right, last up is just announcement from Walmart, you know, we talked about a few weeks ago. He is as a reminder for those new sellers, there’s different incentives to get signed up. So just make guys, if you haven’t started selling on Walmart yet, there are some incentives that are going to kind of go away soon. Make sure to go ahead and sign up on Walmart. Alright, that’s it for the news this week. Now next up, just a couple of reminders. All right. So depending on when you’re listening to this podcast, if you’re listening to it, right when it released, you probably can actually just go connect live, but I’m doing a special webinar together with alibaba.com. 

Bradley Sutton: 

All right, so if you guys want to go check this out, even if you’re seeing this a couple days later, you, you’ll still be able to check this out. Go to h10.me/alibaba1, h10.me/alibaba1, and I’ll take you to YouTube to either the live event, if you’re listening to this right now, or you can still see the, the replay there. Always fun to, to work with Alibaba. Also, something to, to keep in mind hopefully you’re watching this the same day that it releases. We’ve got a very special webinar tomorrow that we are doing on Thursday, and I want you guys to register at h10.me/elitejoe. The reason why I called it Elite Joe, this link is because this is kind of like something I do every year or two where I call it the average Joe and average Sally webinar, where it’s not a bunch of influencers, which we all love and we’re, I’m always gonna have influencers and specialists on the show, but I like featuring people that they’re just regular sellers, like you of all levels. 

Bradley Sutton: 

And so I’ve got about 14 or 15 different sellers, some who are just starting out, and some who have sold hundreds of millions of dollars, and we’re gonna do like brief interviews with all of them. And I know you’re gonna be able to relate to one of them at least and be hopefully inspired by their story. So make sure to go to h10.me/elitejoe and watch that live. If you’re hearing this, and if you’re watching this like days, days later, don’t worry. We’re gonna have like a replay of that actually come out on this podcast this Saturday and also next Tuesday. All right, next up, you know, we were talking a little bit about Walmart, but if you’re just starting out on Walmart, a common question that people have is like, like how do you increase your reviews, especially if your sales are a little bit low in the beginning? What are some ways that you can get more reviews? So Carrie, ask Michael that question. Let’s go ahead and show you this clip. 

Carrie: 

Let’s talk about reviews, because I think this is a big question for people. How do they get reviews when they start selling on Walmart? What are some options and where are some strategies you utilize for Walmart reviews? 

Michael: 

So first of all, reviews are important on Walmart. You know, part of your listing score is judged on your reviews, so you wanna make sure you have your reviews there, obviously. So I think there’s a few things that are important to note. So number one, there’s something called the review syndication program. So review syndication, if you have reviewed your website, you’re gonna wanna move those over to your Walmart listings. They’re not gonna show us verified reviews, but for all intents purposes, it’s really, you get most of the value out of it because it’ll show on your as a star rating and it’ll show on your listings. You know, especially advertising. A lot of times listings just don’t have, even though in some categories you could be very successful without reviews, and on Amazon it’s almost impossible to be successful without review. So review syndication, the way it works is you apply to the program, there’s a link to apply to the review syndication program. 

Michael: 

If you get accepted, you actually, you, you submit a file with your reviews and they’ll port them over so, you know, don’t just explore your good reviews and they’re gonna, they’re gonna flag it and then tell you that you have to include some of your lower reviews as well. So you know, they’ve recently been tightening up that process of the review syndication, but that’s something that’s really important a lot of people don’t know about. Number two is Walmart just launched a program called the Review Accelerated Program, and it’s simple, similar, sorry, to the, to Amazon Vine. So, you know anybody who’s aware of Amazon v Vine would be pretty familiar with how this works, but they basically give the products to consumers and they, you reimburse them a certain amount of money and you get those reviews. So if you’re selling a Walmart, you should have gotten an email from Walmart talking about the review syndication program. 

Michael: 

It’s called a review accelerator program. And yeah, you could just go in, log in to get started with it. It’s pretty simple. Like I’m reading the terms from it. It says, upon sharing the review, customers will receive $3 reward, so, and tours and next purchase and then you get charged a $10 fee. So, you know, I think you know, if, especially if you’re just starting on for some of your, if you have a few products that you want this buy, it couldn’t make sense to do that, but I personally would rather utilize the review syndication tool so you don’t have to pay that money, but for a few products, especially if you, you know, you’re in supplements, you really need reviews, and you’re just launched a few of your products, you want more views. So that’s what I would suggest. 

Bradley Sutton: 

All right, thank you Carrie and Michael for that. If you guys wanna see Michael’s other tips that was actually part of, actually you won’t see it in there. This was actually a clip that we took out, but he answered all of your questions live on our monthly Walmart Wednesday show, so make sure to go to h10.me/427 if you want to see that full episode where he gives the other Walmart strategies. Let me go ahead and show you guys a quick tool, a quick pro training tip of the week, and this is using Helium 10 audience. All right, so this is something that for years I’ve used, you know, this, this is powered by PickFu and this is literally something guys that every single seller should be using, you know preferably before you start the product, but even after you start a product, you can do it. 

Bradley Sutton: 

And that is split testing on your target market, which images is the best, which perhaps title would work best, which secondary image, which, what price point works best. You can test anything. And so what I’m doing, what, what you guys can see on the screen right now, what I did a long time ago is I took a bunch of white image pictures of our new or new at the time coffin egg tray, right? And I was like, you know, I’m not sure what would people wanna see when they have, when they see a coffin egg tray. Do they just want to see the coffin egg tray by itself? Or maybe a sideways pitchers of it with brown eggs or maybe kind of like a 45 degree angle pitcher of it with brown and white eggs. You know, like, I know what I would like to see actually, I would like to see nothing because I don’t like coffin things or egg things, but you know, my target market, I wanted to know what would most suit them. 

Bradley Sutton: 

So I was able in Helium 10 audience to choose like, Hey, send this to 50 Amazon Prime members who are between the ages of 25 and 34, and I put that are women on this just to show you that you can, you can make it go down to even gender, even depending on who your target market is. And then they were presented with this, and, you know, Helium 10 and PickFu are actually paying people to respond. It’s not just people blindly choosing one, but they, they have to actually complete it and write something about it to, to get their money. And, and I can clearly see that there was one winner, one of these images was the winner. And then I can actually go in and see all of the responses. You know, like one other person says B, the middle one most clearly shows how many eggs fit on the coffin shaped egg tray. 

Bradley Sutton: 

Something I didn’t even think about. That’s true, A makes it a little bit more difficult. And C is just very plain. All right? Another person says, I chose options B and C because the actual tray and it’s shape is more visible. All right? So I can like dive into why people are voting on certain ones and the whole point of this, and the reason why you do it before you make a listing, of course, Amazon has its own split tester for images after you have a listing is, I like doing it beforehand because I want to know from, or I want to be sure that from day one that my listening is live, that I’ve got the best image, I’ve got the best title, I’ve got the best whatever, the best price point. And there’s sometimes people might say things that I never even thought about my listing. 

Bradley Sutton: 

So this is a must, guys, you know, if you haven’t done it yet, go ahead and try and use, use it. It costs maybe between like, I’m not sure, you know, depending on how many, how much you whittle it down, like as far as who your target market is, anywhere between like 50 and $75. I think it is, but it’s priceless in my opinion. I mean, imagine if you can just improve your conversion rate by 2% or something like that because of this. I mean, that pays for itself in like two days depending on how many units you’re you’re selling. So this is a great way to get off on the right foot. Make sure to go inside your Helium 10 account and then under listing optimization or under the other, under the more tool section, you’ll find Helium 10 audience guys, make sure to use that right now. All right guys, I hope you enjoyed this episode. We’ll see you next week to see what’s buzzing. 


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