A few words with Greg Mercer, CEO and Founder of Jungle Scout: Amazon Product Finder & Research Tool.
While writing a deep dive about Amazon Fashion that I will publish soon, I met Jungle Scout, which provided me with an interesting data report regarding Amazon’s private label fashion presence. Retail should embrace technology as I described many times in Fashtech posts, but not only from a “tools” point of view but also thru education. Greg explains some of those challenges.
Greg Mercer is the Founder and CEO of Jungle Scout, a software tool for Amazon product research. A few years back, he graduated from Auburn University as a civil engineering major and quickly realized that sitting at a desk all day, every day was not for him. Greg and his wife, Elizabeth, decided to sell most of their belongings and become digital nomads. They travelled all over the world while selling on Amazon, but found out that there was no easy way to do product research so created a way. His team grew quickly and continues to grow every week. Greg still loves to travel and do so as much as he can, but his true passion is keeping Jungle Scout the best, most accurate tool on the market.
The Fashion Retailer: How and why are you helping companies to sell in Amazon?
Greg Mercer: We help Amazon sellers succeed. First, We offer education for how the entire Amazon FBA process works, from research to launch to marketing. From there, Jungle Scout provides a suite of easy-to-use software applications that work directly with Amazon to offer sellers (and those who wish to become sellers) monthly and daily sales estimates for products on Amazon. That way, they can launch products on Amazon and have a good feel for the exact volume of sales that they, themselves, can expect.
Jungle Scout Niche Hunter and Product Tracker products
TFR: How do you think companies digest such amount of data? infoxication is waisting resources that could be thinking and taking decisions (people are creating charts and analyzing data instead of taking decisions)?
GM: Great question! And you’re absolutely right. We call it “analysis paralysis”. Sometimes, sellers and businesses get so busy staring at the data, they fail to make a decision. We’ve started pushing new sellers–especially those that aren’t large businesses–with just trying to sell something, anything at all, on Amazon. It can be a book, a kitchen tool, anything, just to get started.
TFR: What are the most common issues those companies face when selling online?
GM: Education more than anything. One thing we notice often is that both companies and sellers see selling on Amazon as something akin to selling on Ebay, that they have to fulfill each and every sold product themselves. But that’s not the case. Amazon’s FBA program actually stores and handles your products for you, then fulfills them when a sale is made. A big part of what we do is help people understand the process better.
Jungle Scout Product Database and Keyword Scout products
TRF: Why some companies fail when selling at amazon?
GM: The biggest problem a lot of companies and new sellers face when selling on Amazon is a failure to do adequate market research before launching a product on the platform. This is especially true when it comes to analyzing the competition. Sure, a product can sell a lot of units on Amazon, but if there is already a high volume of sellers on the platform with a high quantity of reviews, it can be difficult to rank and get noticed.
TFR: What are the skills needed in omnichannel companies according to your experience?
GM: Gary Vaynerchuk often says that the mistake a lot of ecommerce owners and social media marketers make is that they treat every online channel the same. For example, you can’t treat Facebook like Twitter and expect the same results. And the same is true for Amazon. Amazon is not Ebay. Therefore, you have to treat it differently. And in our opinion, Amazon works far better than Ebay. The average Ebay seller can expect maybe 25-50 sales per month. But an Amazon seller just starting out can expect to see six times that.
TFR: What would you suggest to a student that wants to work in the retail industry (on and offline)?
GM: If you’re going to start retail and you don’t have a lot of capital to work with, definitely start online. While your margins might be a little slimmer and you’re facing more competition by selling on a platform like Amazon, your overhead will be a lot smaller.