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July 5, 2018

266 eCommerce Strategy on Amazon with Joe Jaques Part 2 of 2

We have Joe Jaques who is a member of the $10k Collective back on the show as we dive deeper into building an eCommerce strategy.

Key eCommerce strategy for scaling a business? Or main mistakes?

You need enough inventory in each product line. But you always want a spread of product lines as you build an eCommerce strategy.

It’s a lot to manage, so there’s a balance to be struck.

But you want to spread your bets across lots of lines

Have a good numbers guy – that’s really important.

What are the mindset mistakes in eCommerce strategy?

Not making decisions; not being brave.

You can talk yourself out of everything. We all have In-built survival instinct but we have to learn to stop listening to that.

Dale Carnegie in “How to win friends and influence people”, said:

“If I can be right 51% of the time, I can be a winner on Wall Street.”

Get comfortable with being wrong.

Know your worst case scenario and have a plan for that.

How do you protect against downsides in your eCommerce strategy?? 

Go into a sector which is big enough so you can’t own all of it.

It is a market for example which sells only hundred units per month on page 1, if your business model relies on you winning 100% of that market, that is risky.

Instead, try to pick a market that is bigger and has good numbers (demand depth) and go in somewhat more tentatively.

And rather than go into one sector where, for example,  you are targeting 1500 units a month, go into three sectors were you aiming to do 500 unit a month in each sector.

Never just jump on the bandwagon like fidget spinners. That’s a bad eCommerce strategy. If it looks too good to be sure, it probably is too good to be true.

How do you deal with setbacks?

Joe’s business had, for example, shrinking turnover 20-30% for 3 years in high street.

Inventory just Sat there.

You have to stay focused on the bigger picture and be prepared to make bold moves if needed.

Be sure to create real value

Your eCommerce strategy needs to recognise that we live in very value driven consumerism.

It’s not about really expensive or really cheap.

Buy all of the competition’s products.

Read all negative reviews.

Then enter the market.

How do you decide what products to Develop?

Your eCommerce strategy needs to include hours of research – know who you are and what your brand is – create a bouncy castle in which to exercise your research energy

Some products are me-too. That’s Fatal.

ALWAYS look for a point of difference.

Even if the difference is just in presentation or in the back story.

For example, the brand “Joe Malone” – their Candles advert – wrapped with finesse and delivered with love. Good product – presented beautifully – engineered to be gifted.

Fortnum and Mason – made to be gifted.

It’s a self-justified rationalisation – eg buy a Porsche – it’s a good German reliable brand, good residuals

Engineer product so the person feels good about it.

So everything about it has to say you care. Does it come with instructions? Followup email.

Have a story

Another example is Charles Tyrwhitt with his shirts.

Branding as part of your eCommerce strategy

Think about who is buying it.

Focus – toy or game? Adult? Family thing? Likely to be gifted? Self-indulgence?
Is it consumable? Repeatable?

Ecologically friendly product – you have to believe in what it is you’re doing.

You don’t have to be religious about using it.
BUT if you don’t believe it, neither will your customers.

How do you decide to kill off a product versus give it a second chance? 

You get a feel for it.

Some products only do 3-4 a day, but they’re part of what they are and what they do. So having slower moving products can be okay if they are part of your overall eCommerce strategy.

Have a spectrum of stuff.

But If it makes no money and a slow seller and it doesn’t serve a purpose, that may be time to kill it.

You also have to keep things fresh. To improve a business, it’s an incremental process – chop out the worst 10% of products, employees and add another 10%. Aim to make each product or hire better than the last overall.

Heinz 57 is no longer 57 varieties; it’s hundreds!

Keep developing the portfolio. That’s a key part of your eCommerce strategy.

Believe in your products but don’t get sentimentally attached to them. It’s as much work to launch an item that will do 1000 units in sales as one that will do 100.

Discipline your mind to compartmentalise. Get rid of a product if it is sapping energy; the same is true with staff.

Employing people

What positions have you employed or outsourced? 

Joe has an ecommerce/tech guy who he has known for 15 years who does one day a week.

Copywriter (just engaged) who does 1 day a week.

A financial director has changed his life!

He has 2 office people and 5 warehouse people in the UK; and 12 ladies in a Chinese office/warehouse who work incredibly hard for him.

Parting advice? 

You made the decision to take the leap. Keep believing in yourself – if you don’t do it, someone else will. Somebody is going to sell those potential products.

If it’s in your area, it’s yours for the taking.


Watch Ecommerce Strategy on Amazon with Joe Jaques

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Michael Veazey

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