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Helium 10 Buzz 6/22/22: Amazon Marketing Stream & June Shipping Update

Today, we cover the latest news about Amazon. Talk about the current state of the supply chain, and share a pro-tip on how to use the Listing Analyzer tool.
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24 minutes read

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.

The dates of Prime Day has been announced last week! What are your plans for the July 12-13th event? Make sure to share your thoughts inside the Helium 10 Users group. Amazon starts promotions before Prime Day for small business badge owners.

Amazon launches the Amazon Marketing Stream to see real-time data on what’s going on with your PPC campaigns.

Bradley closes out the episode with the Pro Training tip of the week on how to use the Listing Analyzer tool to check your top competitor’s images.

In this week’s episode of the Weekly Buzz, Bradley talks about:

  • 00:53 – Prime Day Updates
  • 03:40 – Amazon Marketing Stream
  • 06:45 – The State Of Shipping And Supply Chain
  • 18:10 – Listing Analyzer Tip

Transcript

Bradley Sutton:

Hello everybody, and welcome to another episode of the Helium 10 Weekly Buzz. My name is Bradley Sutton, and this is the show where we get you familiar with the latest news in the Amazon and e-commerce space. We interview people in the industry you need to hear from and provide a training tip of the week. That’s gonna help give you serious strategies for serious sellers of any level, an Amazon Walmart, and the e-commerce world. So let’s go ahead and see what’s buzzing this week. We’re gonna talk about a variety of things today that go from Prime Day to the current state of shipping, and also a tip on how you should analyze the images from your competitors using Listing Analyzer. So let’s go ahead and get started with the news. The first article I wanted to talk about today is about Prime Day. Now, this is not gonna come to news for anybody, you know, last week it was announced the dates of Prime Day is the 12th and 13th.

Bradley Sutton:

However, I wanted to like, kind of like get some, some feedback from everybody out there on what exactly you guys are going to do for Prime Day. You know, are you guys gonna raise your bids in PPC? Did you send in more inventory, anybody doing a deal of the day, but also there was something that came out of Amazon yesterday talking about how there’s something new that they’re gonna do that maybe it’s new, maybe it’s not, but I don’t remember this last year, but they’re doing a promotion to support small business brands. So this came out in seller central where starting today, or actually yesterday, the 21st through July 11th. So the day before prime customers who buy eligible products from small businesses on Amazon will be entered for a chance to win Amazon gift cards and trips to the Super Bowl and a screen of the Lord of the Rings and all these kinds of interesting things.

Bradley Sutton:

So they’re doing like this promotion where they’re like, “Hey guys, even before Prime Day, if you see a small business badge, then you’re gonna be entered to win”. So it’s kind of a bonus for us small business sellers. Now that being said, how do you get a small business certified? Now the interesting thing is I don’t even remember applying for that, but if you look under coffin shelf on Amazon, I’m gonna look at it right now. You can actually see that the Project X coffin shelf somehow says, this is a small business. It’s like the only one that is a small business owned on all of the coffin shelf. So this is kind of cool. If you can get that certification, you know, really fast, if you don’t have it already take a look at the search results of your main keyword, where you’re on page one, and see if you had that Small Business Badge showing.

Bradley Sutton:

Because like I said, for the projects, we’re pretty much the only one almost on page one. So one of the things that gets you in the Small Business program is if you’re registered with the brand registry or you participate in the handmade program. Now I swear there are other coffin shelves that are in the brand registry, but maybe not, but because of that, that’s what seller central told me that, oh, that’s why we got that Small Business Badge. And so if you see that badge, you are enrolled in that program. So again, guys, take a look, if you are eligible for that Small Business Badge, and you’re gonna get like a little bonus leading up to Prime Day. And then, like I said, let me know in the comments what exactly you guys are, are planning to do for Prime Day.

Bradley Sutton:

Now the second bit of news that came out yesterday is Amazon Marketing Stream. Now this is something that we’ve been part of like a pilot program for a couple of months and a lot of other companies were too. And it’s basically in a nutshell, what it means is now like Amazon, if you’re connected via the API to Amazon, whether you’re a tool company or something like that, you’re gonna have like near real time data about what is going on with your PPC. Now in the past, what happened was a lot of people would always say, oh, I wish I could do day partying for PPC. Now, now what that meant, or what they meant is like, Hey, I wanna like lower my bids, raise my bids based on the time of day, or even turn off my bids diff different things like that.

Bradley Sutton:

And you know, the answer that most people gave always is, well, no, that, that doesn’t make sense because you shouldn’t do that because you have no visibility into when your ads really are doing anything, right? Like you get bids back and information back from Amazon on a daily basis. Sometimes it’s a couple of days behind. So like, how would you know what time of day you should raise your bids or lower your bids, or when buyers are more likely to click and things like that, you would have no visibility, so it makes no sense to do day parting with your PPC. Guess what that’s now changed now, Amazon is making this data visible so that, you know, maybe, oh, Hey, between midnight and 4:00 PM. The likelihood that my clicks turn into sales is like almost zero or man, look at this traffic during this time of the day, I need to like really make sure I’m showing up at top of the search.

Bradley Sutton:

Now, all of a sudden there are a lot of possibilities. So this is something that definitely is gonna come to Adtomic and Helium 10 in the coming months, if you’re a bigger seller, our sister company, as part of the Helium 10 umbrella Pacvue already has implemented this. So definitely check them out if you’re like a seven figure seller or above. But if you’re a newer seller, you still wanna take advantage. Yes. The Adtomic with the Diamond plan, you’re gonna be able to have access to this eventually. But my question to you is what do you think is this like too much data? Are you like, you know what, I’m fine with the way I run my PPC just on a daily basis and looking at my ACoS and tacos and things, or is this something that you think you wanna take a look at and maybe start adjusting your bids based on the time of day, if you’re listening to this on the podcast, you know, go ahead and start a thread in the Facebook group and let me know what you think about this Amazon marketing stream.

Bradley Sutton:

All right. That does it for the news for this week. Now, like I said before, we usually interview people. So nowadays–, what’s today? Today’s June 22nd. You know, we’ve been dealing with a lot of shipping issues for a while now. And I just wanted to like, let’s invite an expert and give some kind of like insights into what the situation is with shipping. So let’s go ahead and invite Burak up here. There we go. Burak, how’s it going?

Burak:

Hey, Bradley. Great to see you.

Bradley Sutton:

Great to see you too. You’re in Miami, right?

Burak:

Yes, Miami and hopefully traveling a couple of days later overseas.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, excellent. Excellent. Now, you know Burak, he has a shipping company called Forceget and they’re actually in our Seller Solutions Hub. So you guys can find them at hub.helium10.com. As I mentioned before on our podcast, I recently used them for a Project 5k shipment kind of cool, because, like before I would just have my shipping agent ship things and I would have no idea where the shipment is, or what’s the status, but they’ve got this like kind of cool interface online where you can kind of see where it’s at in the world and when it’s picked up and you get these notifications and things. So they’re definitely legit. But the reason why I called you there is not to, to talk about my shipment, but just in general, you know, the things that have been on the mind of, of sellers for the last year is, you know, number one, the shipping prices that just were skyrocketing for containers. And even if you’re not even doing a full container, obviously you still gonna get a big price hike. And then the shipping times where it would sometimes take like up to three months or more to get stuff from China to the United States. So those two things Burak now we’re almost the end of June here. What is the status? Are things getting better? What do you see?

Burak:

Yeah, I mean, if we talk about like the China side you know, the Covid situation was a little crazy last couple of months, even the time we were gonna ship your product, if you remember Shanghai had a full lockdown and we had some like trucks who had to live like, you know, Shanghai, but it couldn’t because of the lockdowns. So still has a lot of hiccups in China, a lot of destinations, a lot of origin issues, especially because of due to the COVID still like, and also recently what we see is mainly is the schedule changes by the carriers, which we used to see that, but the congestion it on the destination part. If you talk about like North America, if you talk about Los Angeles Port, New York Port still like very congested, especially like the east coast, New York side at Los Angeles, still, as you know, our company, our main hub is San Francisco, actually Oakland Port.

Burak:

But recently after we booked the container in China that are a lot of schedule changes happening with the shipping line and a lot of customers of ours or other people in the market or in the experts in the market, they’re talking about these changes will continue, and it’s due to the different reasons, like, especially with oil and gas prices increase a lot. So it’s automatically affecting the main cost for the shipping lines at the diesel, the oil and gas price. So they try to like combine, if they’re not like full capacity, they might cancel one of the scheduled vessels. And then they switch to a different line, or sometimes instead of going to direct, they change the vessel. They say due to the COVID restrictions, they might do stop over in Korea. So we see a lot of changes recently in the market with this prices are slightly lower in the market right now, due to the summertime. I think, and, you know very high inflation, especially in US and Europe. I think the demand is a little less versus six months.

Bradley Sutton:

So when you say like slightly lower, like, what are we talking about? Like, so, what was it before the pandemic? What was it at the height, you know, of the pandemic? And like, what would it be or at the height as in when it was the most expensive and then what would it, what would it be now just to give us kind of an idea here.

Burak:

You know, before the pandemic, I would say Ningbo or port Shenzhen depart go to Los Angeles port high queue like 3000, 3,500 within last year, US dollars. And within last year we sold $20,000 and we couldn’t even get the empty containers. It was really crazy and insane. I think that was the main reason why the inflation like really hit like this high because of the shipping prices, especially, some of the people selling like seasonal products, like large items, like bulky items, let’s say like barbecue grill or, like outdoor furniture. They used to be like per unit cost used to pay maybe like $20, $25. When was the $3,000, the full container? Now, when it’s $20,000, the units cost per lending is like $100-$120, obviously that it has to reflect to the pricing, you know, selling price. Same with the Amazon sellers. I start seeing a lot of prices like increasing on the Amazon also versus six months a year ago. So from now like three months ago, four months ago, for the High queue was like $11,000, maybe $10,500. And then recently what we see is direct shipping lines. Like the ones we are using, let’s say the One-High or EMC from China to US, like the west coast, like Oakland or Los Angeles around like $8,500, $8,800, which is not too bad.

Bradley Sutton:

Do you think we’re ever going to get back to the pre-pandemic or because of like, you know, inflation and, and gas prices and things like that is might be the lowest we’re gonna see it.

Burak:

I think the summertime is gonna be the lowest that we’ve been seeing. Because before the fourth quarter there’s gonna be like more demand, definitely means that more prices probably will stay below 10,000. We are hoping, but I don’t think that we will ever go back just because I’m from the industry and I lived in China so long. I remember the time when the container price was like $3,000, the shipping lines were really losing money. So last two years they start actually making a profit with the pricing and stuff. So I think they’re not gonna, I don’t wanna say they control the market, but they keep the demand and supply on the balance to keep the prices the same level.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, and then the other question was, you know, like, I don’t know what the peak was, but to me it, you know, I had, I had a shipment take over three months to get to me. But then I had, you know, another shipment recently take about two months and there was one that was super LTL that somebody was doing that actually shipped at UPL once it hit here. And, oh my goodness. Like, I think I might have got it in one month from the time it left the poor, I don’t know if I got like, just really fortunate on that, but on average for just regular, you know, containers to get here, you know, I’m not talking about the fast ships and things like that, but the standard thing that most Amazon sellers do, what can they expect? If something gets loaded in Shenzhen, for example, today, June 22nd, like when can I expect that to hit the port here and actually be unloaded?

Burak:

You know, it’s a really interesting question because in the market, there are a lot of spot rates. What it means is there are some very big logistic companies, and freight forwarders. They have a contract with the shipping lines, which they have like fixed price for the entire year. And they sell those containers to like large accounts, let’s say Nike, or like Adidas or whatever the brand you call, and versus when they have like empty space, they start selling to the market as a spot rate. So there are a lot of spot rates right now in the market. And it’s causing a lot of actually cows when you wanna book something because there’s always like a different shipping line that companies are offering. So most of the regular freight forwarders in China who don’t have the ones in China who don’t have like a direct contract with the carriers, they are using the spot price, spot market. So each shipment could be different. Generally. I would say if there is a connection through Korea at 35 to 45 days from the time it departs from Shenzhen, it takes 79 days to go to Korea, transfer to containers two weeks and go to Los Angeles like two weeks. And I would assume like, there’s at least 10 to 15 days, like congestion on the port they’re waiting when the shipping crisis hit the bottom actually, the waiting number of whistles waiting outside of Los Angeles, like more than hundred.

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah. That was great right

Burak:

Right now, we see like something like 40 to 60. So, which is like the congesting time, like, you know, the waiting time is like right for 50. So I would say, keep it safe four to four to five days by the time ER, pulled out of the port and then bring it to the warehouse and then start distributing, and then they’re like 10 days. So you’re looking at probably 45 to 50 days to keep it safe when people do the inventory clinic.

Bradley Sutton:

But unlike the prices, which like you said, you probably don’t expect to go more down. This still should go more down as far as time, right? Like it’s not always gonna be congested with 50 ships there and taking like 50 days, right? Or do you think this is the best we’re gonna get in the new normal?

Burak:

You know, I think the biggest issue is actually the truck and finding the chassis. If people are not familiar with the term, the chassis is, you know, behind the truck, when you see, when you driving, you see the containers sitting on that the still thing with the tires like it’s called chassis. So the shortage is mainly not because of the vessels cannot enter the pour and discharge all the containers, unload them, the problems coming from the shortage of the truck, truck drivers, the working hours, the waiting times in the terminals, and more importantly, the shortage of the chassis. So that’s one of the reasons that I think, and I was reading on the news and seeing on the news that people start applying, like, because it was it’s, it’s getting like a premium job in US right now for the truck driver pace.

Burak:

And they’re trying to add up like more truck drivers to the market to make it like more competitive and more importantly become like more available. So I think there are like little bit more things in this circle. I don’t wanna just blame and talk about the shipping line, but also let’s say with the train, you know, if you do like intermodal shipment if you wanna ship to Denver, for example, your full container or Kentucky, what are you gonna do? The shipment comes to the port. It needs to transfer the train, goes to Chicago, and I’m from Chicago, truck needs to pick up and deliver to let’s say Kentucky, maybe, or Minnesota. So people need to understand like the entire shipping process, not just when you tell them four or five to 60 days, but they need to ask, like, where is gonna, my shipment gonna be transferred? Like, what is the shipping line? What is the sailing tab? How many days, when did it accomplish last time? Like how many days it was. So these are the right things, the right questions to ask it straightforwardly.

Bradley Sutton:

All right. Well Burak, thank you so much for joining us. Like I said, out there to you guys, if you wanna reach out to them for a quote or to maybe ask more questions about what’s going on with shipping go to hub.helium10.com and right there in the search type in Forceget, Forcegt, that’s two words, but it’s only one word no spaces between, and you’ll be able to get a direct link to Burak checks all those messages himself. So thanks for coming on here and helping us out with this stuff. I know it’s on the mind of many Amazon sellers, especially with maybe Prime Day coming up and maybe some people have some shipments that haven’t hit the shore yet. So thank you for coming on here and we’ll see you next time.

Burak:

All right. Thanks so much for having Bradley.

Bradley Sutton:

All right, guys. One last thing I wanted to give you guys a tip some strategies about using Listing Analyzer. Now, this is something that, you know, has been a strategy that I’ve been talking about for a long time of when you make new listings, how you should analyze your kind of niche theme and how your competitors have their images. But now there’s kind of like a newer way with Listing Analyzer. However, don’t just do this. When you have a brand new product or a brand new listing that you are going to make. What I want you guys to do is to probably actually do this now, even in your own niche, like get your top, you know, seven or eight competitors up to 10, I would say maximum, and then put them into Listing Analyzer.

Bradley Sutton:

I’m gonna share my screen for those of you who are watching this on YouTube. Let’s just say you were selling these collagen gummies. All right. So the main purpose you guys all know of listing analyzer is to kind of like, see what’s going on with the quality of the listings and the quality of the keywords. But the button that I want you guys to use is at the very top right of Listing Analyzer. Once you put them all in, it’s called Media Comparison. So once you hit that button, what’s gonna happen is we are gonna show you a layout of all of the images from your competitor’s listings in the exact order that they’re in and how this helps whether you have a brand new listing you’re starting or an existing listing, is you are gonna start to see thematically what your competitors are doing with their images.

Bradley Sutton:

Cuz you’re gonna notice things like, for example, one thing that popped out to me right away here, like if this was a brand new listing is you’ll see that around the first three images, every single collagen gummies here has a picture kind of like an infographic of these supplement facts. You know, those are those things that goes onto the back of like supplements where you can see how many calories it has and carbs and stuff like that. But look, every single one in the first few images has that supplement fact. So, you know, obviously, you should do the same thing too. Another thing that jumps out to me is I talked about this before, but take a look here I know if you guys are listening to this on the podcast, it’s kind of hard to describe here, but I’ll try. But every single, not every single one, but like five out of these eight, they have a kind of like, I don’t know if you wanna call this a lifestyle image slash infographic of where somebody is holding these collagen gummy bears, like in their hand or in their finger to show the size.

Bradley Sutton:

So like this one here, there’s one that says, how many do I take? And it shows it both in their hand and in their finger. Here’s the very second one. It shows somebody holding it in their finger, like to show the size of it down here. Here is another one where they’re all holding it in the finger. Actually, this one looks pretty, pretty big here. So this is not a coincidence, right? Like when, when one person does it. But when you see most of these top sellers, all doing a very, very unique image, that’s not normal, you know, like not every Amazon picture, are you holding the product in your finger or in your hand, they must have some data that showed that there’s a lot of customers who are asking about the relative size of these gummies.

Bradley Sutton:

And when you think about it kind of makes sense. It’s like, yeah, I’m gonna put something in my mouth. You know, I don’t want to choke on it or, you know, I wanna know the size of it. How big is it? You know, do I have to chew it? Things like that. So it makes sense. Now you may or may not have been able to find that by using review insights and looking into your competitor’s reviews, but you don’t even have to get to that point. You can just look at it, I just click one button. And I instantly saw that this is a niche theme, that everybody is doing images like that there’s another kind of commonalities here where there’s it seems like a lot more infographics that have to do with the benefits. And that makes sense a coffin shelf doesn’t need a whole bunch of infographics, but if we’re talking about a, you know, a supplement, I don’t need to see the supplement, you know, every single side of it.

Bradley Sutton:

I mean, it’s just a little tiny gummy bear, right? So it makes sense that, Hey, you should focus maybe more on the infographics with some text that talks about, you know, the best kind of benefits or the best benefits that you’re gonna get by taking this. So again, guys Listing Analyzer is what I want you guys to check out whether you’re making a new listing or whether you have an existing listing, get your top five to 10 competitors in there, hit that Media Comparison, and see what you can find out about what these top sellers are able to do for their images. And I guarantee, I guarantee you are gonna find some kind of theme or something that’s working for these top sellers. And it’s probably something that you should hopefully be incorporating in your listing. All right. Well, that does it for our Weekly Buzz this week. We’ll see you back next week to see what’s buzzing in the world. Like I said, we always bring you guys interviews. We bring you the latest news in Amazon and Walmart. And we also give you some training. So I’ll see you guys next week in the Weekly Buzz.


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