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13 experts reveal the No. 1 thing that can improve your online business

With less than 50 days to go before the Global Sources Summit, we got a head start and asked 13 speakers to answer one simple question: “What is the one thing online and Amazon sellers should be doing to improve their business?”

 

Dr. Ann Leung, Technical Director, AsiaInspection

“Any online /Amazon seller  that wishes to stay competitive must put product quality front and center. Online sellers are particularly susceptible to quality risks, because their supply chains include fewer quality gatekeepers between the supplier and the consumer. An efficient way to tackle this is to implement strong quality control systems at the source. QC at the source catches defective products before they leave the supplier’s facility and even before the retailer has paid for them. This helps online sellers prevent costly returns and avoid supply chain disruptions down the line.”

 

Manuel Becvar, CEO and Founder, Mandarin-Gear Ltd:

“Focus on building a brand from the beginning. Keep this in the back of your head with everything you do. The majority just starting out or having a few items running has limited capital and can therefore not play around. So build better products from the beginning, have A+ photos and listings, great customer service and if you have existing items improve those constantly. Also don’t be afraid to invest your money in the future into higher priced and better quality products, be unique in what you do.

Look at this business not as a get-rich-quick scheme but rather see your investment as an opportunity to build your brand and in turn make more money in the long run (Do this as opposed to release and launching a product every week). Build it slowly and keep quality and focus in the back of your head.”

 

Marshall Taplits, Founder, Amichai LLC

“Choose suppliers (where possible) who offer a selection of related products within a single category that you are interested in selling on Amazon.  As you expand into new products, it will be easier to manage fewer factory relationships and fill full containers with less quantity commitment per SKU.  In addition, you will become an important customer to the factories you choose to work with, which will pay dividends in time.

 

Mike Michelini, Host, Global From Asia Podcast

“Think of your product as your brand. Look to synergies all your products so that you can grow a portfolio and a long term asset.”

 

Fredrik Gronkvist, Product Development, ChinaImportal.com

“Startups often fail to understand that every single design element and feature, in a new product, is a challenge to overcome. Plenty of businesses tend to overemphasize features that don't have more than a minor effect on their bottom line.

Perhaps you can wait with that custom designed product packaging, and maybe you shouldn't try to get manufacturers to use techniques or materials none of them are familiar with.

I see this all the time and the result is often that the company is bankrupt before they even placed a product on the market. Keep things lean as you startup.”

 

Ashish Monga, founder, IMEX Sourcing Services

“Whether you are a large company or an Amazon business, it is very important to document your processes and create SOP’s. This ensures you can constantly “replace yourself” by delegating repeat tasks and at the same time helps you refine & fine-tune your processes for maximum efficiency. Both these factors play a critical role in “Scaling” a business.”

 

Danny McMillan, The Amazon Seller

“There is too much to get bogged down in and not all of it is sexy. 80/20 everything, if it does not move forward your business, satisfy your customer or make you money; automate / hand off as quickly as possible. There is no point in being a hero or frugal when it diminishes your energies to work on the bigger picture - This is what teams are for, the quicker you embrace this, the faster your business will grow…”

 

Mike Bellamy, founder, PassageMaker Sourcing Solutions

“If you aren’t extremely clear to the Asian supplier about your required specifications, there is a good chance you will receive exactly what you didn’t want! It is essential to state in writing your exact specs and work with the supplier to create standards which they can use to confirm their production meets your expectations.”

 

Michael Hartman, European Director, Inc. Plan (USA)

“To be honest in order to be a successful Amazon Seller, you have to be doing lots of things. Great photos, explanatory photos showing the customer how the product looks like and should be looking like when used. Don't forget to use the power of reviews both verified and unverified. Then you need lots of outside quality traffic. That you'll get through CPA on Facebook ads, Adwords, Instagram, blog posts etc. This is a sure-fire way to boost your ranking.”

 

Brad Moss, Managing Partner, Product Labs

“I think Amazon Sellers should remember the value of customers. Not just getting good feedback, but building loyalty. Sellers can build strong communities of supporters and fans after selling a product on Amazon. To do this they should understand who their buyers are, get their feedback, and interact with them like real people. Starting to sell product is one thing, earning a loyal customer base is entirely another.”

 

Andy Church, Founder, Insight Quality Services

“Quality begins before the buy. Before placing an order with a factory, it is important to create detailed product specifications that can be incorporated not only into the purchase order but also be the foundation for your product’s inspection checklist. Creating and communicating product quality, expectations and requirements before placing an order with a factory will reduce your risk and help ensure the product shipped meets your requirements and quality expectations.”

 

Will Tjernlund, Founder, AMZ Help

“One thing Amazon sellers could do to grow their business is by switching from Chinese to US Manufacturers. That way they can decrease lead times while flipping their inventory much quicker. The key is to flip your inventory 10 times a year at a 20% margin $10,000 X 1.20^10 instead of flipping your inventory 3 times a year via private labeling $10,000 X 1.2^3”

 

Noah Herschman, CEO, Yangbo Ecommerce Group

“Try to understand how the customer actually uses your product; and why they like it. You can do this purely by reading the reviews of your product and competing similar products. Try to understand what the factors were that led them to the decision to purchase your product; and how they are using it.

By understanding these factors, you can create more relevant keywords that will make your product rank higher.

Once you understand the key search terms your customers are using to discover your products, you can use keyword tools such as Merchant Words to expand the keyword set.”

 

Conclusion

These experts’ advice is designed to help you improve your online business — whether you want to save costs importing from China, expand your product portfolio or enhance on- and off-Amazon marketing.

These and more experts at the Global Sources Summit will share valuable information on topics from supplier selection and logistics to expanding to Europe and preparing your business for sale. Reserve your seat today and use the code SS50 to save $50.

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  • Interactive training led by sourcing & Amazon experts
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  • October 17 - 19, 2016 in Hong Kong
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